Accident Database

Report ID# 1134

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Accident Description


             The National Park Service received a report of two overdue canoeists on the Delaware River in Eastern Pennsylvania on the evening of September 28, 1996. Rangers began a search for a married couple who had rented a canoe from a local business that evening. They found them in pitch darkness just a hundred yards north of the point where they’d put in at Smithfield Beach . The couple had been dropped off that morning and instructed to head downstream. They had instead paddled upstream, against the current, covering about three miles in six hours of steady paddling. According to the woman: “When we reached the fourth set of rapids and the water was still going the wrong way, we decided we had probably been going the wrong way.” They turned around and paddled hard for 90 minutes, then pulled over to the shore to wait for morning. They did not realize how close they were to the boat ramp where they’d put in seven and a half hours previously. Both were in remarkably good spirits.

SOURCE: National Park Service Morning News

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