Accident Database

Report ID# 3298

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water

Accident Description

Man missing in Delaware River
The Intelligencer
Rescue units suspended their search Sunday night for a man who fell into the Delaware after his canoe capsized. Another person in the canoe was pulled to safety. One person in the canoe was pulled from the water by rescue crews, said New Hope-Eagle Fire Co. Chief Craig Forbes. Forbes, who was manning one of the rescue boats, said that an emergency medical services crew was working on the man on the New Jersey side of the river. There was a report that he was taken to an area hospital to be treated for hypothermia.
New Hope police on the scene would not confirm the reports.The canoe tipped over around 4:15 p.m. near a wing dam near the Waterworks condominiums. "That's where we always have our problems," said Forbes, who noted the dam funnels water to the center of the river, creating swift currents. Rescue crews could not locate the other boater.
A New Jersey State Police helicopter and rescue boats from New-Hope Eagle Fire Co. and Lambertville Fire Co. scanned the river for more than two hours before calling off the search. Assisting the New Hope-Eagle and Lambertville crews were firefighters from Upper Makefield and Ewing, N.J.
Forbes said the missing victim was not wearing a life jacket. "Please as a public service tell people who are going to be on the river to wear a flotation device," said Forbes. The chief said the river was high and fast-moving on Sunday. "And it was cold," he added. Forbes said that he was not certain when the search would be resumed."It depends on the conditions," said the chief.
Bill Devlin can be reached at 215-345-3179 or
March 22, 2010 03:06 AM

Robert Baldwin, 58, Seth Baldwin 24, canoe overturned in Lambertville rapid after 20 minutes on the water, after it passed over the concrete portion of the wing dam on NJ side. Seth Baldwin rescued, hypothermia, discharged from hospital 3/23/10. Body of Robert Baldwin yet to be recovered. Info from The Times (local newspaper), 3/23/10.

LAMBERTVILLE — A 58-year-old father went missing yesterday afternoon when his boat overturned as he was canoeing with his son along the fast-moving currents of the Lambertville Wing Dam, police said.

A rescue squad located the 23-year-old son in the water, but the dad was not found, authorities said. The son was receiving treatment for hypothermia, according to Sgt. Stephen Jones of the New Jersey State Police.

A state police helicopter assisted local emergency crews in the search mission, but the operation was called off just before sunset after a several-hours-long search operation failed to locate the missing man, police said. The identities of the father and son weren’t released as of press time.

“It’s a popular area for boaters,” said Sgt. Jones, adding that he has experience canoeing on those waters — a man-made dam of the Delaware River south of the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge.

The dam has the sportsman appeal of thrilling recreation, but Jones said amateurs should go nowhere near it “unless you’re properly trained and equipped.” Jones stressed that he’s “not an expert” on the dam, but said it’s dangerous to play on “if you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Police radio chatter said the missing man didn’t have a life jacket. The search was called off last evening about 7 p.m. because the visibility was too low at that point. Jones said the search mission would resume this morning. 


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