Boater Still Missing After 2-Day Search of Delaware - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Boater Still Missing After 2-Day Search of Delaware



    Recovery Search for Missing Boater

    Saturday morning, crews will be back on the Delaware River searching for a man last seen Friday afternoon. (Published Saturday, April 19, 2014)

    After two days of searching for a missing boater who fell into the Delaware River on Friday turned up nothing, the New Jersey State Police are shifting to a "dry search" Sunday.

    Witnesses say the man, who has yet to be identified, was having fun on his speed boat in the water at Neshaminy State Park in Bristol, Pa., trying to jump the wake of a passing tug boat, when he hit a wave that was too big.

    "Shot him up in the air, he came out of the boat, fell into the water, the boat nose-dived and started to circle while he floated," said fisherman Ed Connelly, who witnessed the accident from the banks of the river.

    The empty boat went in circles for about 20 minutes before running out of gas, Bristol Township Police Chief John Godziebas said.

    Boater Goes Missing in Delaware River

    [PHI] Boater Goes Missing in Delaware River
    The U.S. Coast Guard and local police spent hours searching for a man who was knocked from his boat in Bristol Township, Pa., on Friday. Witnesses told NBC10 the wake of a tug boat sent the man flying into the water, and hasn't been seen since. NBC10's George Spencer talked to police and witnesses, and has the latest on what's now been deemed a recovery mission.
    (Published Saturday, April 19, 2014)

    New Jersey State Trooper Vincent Mancuso told that the man was seen floating for several minutes before he disappeared underneath the water.

    The U.S. Coast Guard and various law enforcement agencies began a search and rescue mission on Friday afternoon, using sonar equipment in an attempt to find the man. But by 2:30 p.m., police were describing the search effort as a recovery mission.

    After search efforts were suspended Friday evening, the New Jersey State Police took over the recovery mission Saturday morning around 7 a.m.

    They used sonar again, but were still unable to locate the man during the nearly five hour operation Saturday.

    Officials said they will continue the recovery effort Sunday, but the "dry search" will not include sonor or divers.

    It is unclear if the man was wearing a life vest, but officials reiterated the device's importance following the incident.

    "You should be wearing a life jacket and securing it properly. And in particular, staying away from those tugboats, because they are extremely dangerous with their waves," said Mancuso.

    The man's family towed the boat out of the marina on Friday night, but did not comment.