New Jersey

Father of 2 Drowns in Delaware River

A father of two children drowned over the weekend while swimming in the Delaware River. 

Thomas Scott, 24, of Edgewater Park, New Jersey went missing in the Delaware River near York Street in Burlington City, New Jersey at 7:14 p.m. Sunday.

Police and witnesses said Scott and two friends were walking along the waterfront ledge and then jumped over the railing to swim across the river to Burlington Island where an abandoned amusement park is located.

"They got on the ledge and all three of them jumped in, one after the other," said Chris Ventriello, one of the witnesses.

As they got to the halfway point, Scott started to struggle.

"He went down once, came back up and went down a second time," said Miles Smith. "That was the last time we saw him." 

Nearby boaters tries to rescue Scott but were unsuccessful. 

"They jumped in the water and threw life preservers," Ventriello said. "The one gentleman that jumped in actually had his hands on him for a second. But he couldn't get him."

State police and local dive teams later recovered Scott's body around 8:45 p.m. Police say Scott was a father of two young children. His death is being investigated as an accidental drowning. 

Burlington City officials issued an executive order banning people from going to Burlington island though people often still swim across.

"It's deep and it's narrow and those currents can go up, down, left or right," said Burlington Mayor James Fazzone. "We don't want anyone on the island and that's been in effect for awhile."

If you witnessed the incident, please call Detective Anna Czajka at 609-386-0262 ext. 221. 

Loved ones created a memorial fund for Scott's family. CLICK HERE if you would like to donate. 

The drowning was the third incident in which a swimmer went missing in the Delaware River over the weekend. Sunday morning a 22-year-old Virginia man went missing while swimming in the river in Bristol, Bucks County.

On Saturday a 41-year-old man died after he tried to swim across the Delaware River in Pike County.

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