Accident Database

Report ID# 3602

  • Flush Drowning
  • Hypothermia
  • Cold Water
  • High Water

Accident Description

NB: The Susquehanna is VERY WIDE here and fast moving in the spring.

01-28-12 YORK COUNTY, PA Pa.

kayaker still missing along Susquehanna

Baltimore Sun

Rescue personnel continue to search for a kayaker missing since late Sat. night (01-28) on the Susquehanna River in York Co., Pa., about 6 mi. N. of the Harford Co. border. Harford Co. rescuers had originally been called to help find the missing man, who was identified Mon. (01-30) as Nicholas Herr, 24, of New Providence, Pa. Herr was paddling to an island with another man, Archie McConnell of Quarryville, Penn., at about 11 p.m. Sat. when their kayaks capsized, according to the Penn. Fish & Boat Commission. McConnell managed to swim to safety. Rescuers recovered both kayaks and called off the search for Herr early Sun. morning (01-29), but they resumed at about 2 p.m. Mon.

"The Lancaster Co. coroner's office has him listed as missing," Pa. Fish & Boat Commission Press Secretary Eric Levis said. "Their office decides when to list the individual as deceased." McConnell said the 2 men had decided to winter camp on an island, where they had been before. McConnell encountered rough water, was turned sideways and his boat started taking on water. Herr tried to help him, but both ended up capsizing. After swimming to safety on the York Co. shore of the river, McConnell called for help from a nearby house. Both men were wearing lifejackets.

The search extended S. from the Muddy Creek boat launch toward Conowingo Dam in Harford Co. but was called off after 6 hrs. Sun. morning. The search was led by Rawlinsville VFD in York Co. and assisted by the Fish & Boat Comm. and rescue crews from Harford Co. and Lancaster Co., Pa. Harford Vol. Fire Co's. from Darlington and Whiteford, as well as the Susquehanna Hose Co. of Havre de Grace's swift water rescue team, assisted the other units.

03-11-12 YORK COUNTY, PA

Missing kayaker found in river


The body of a New Providence man who disappeared while kayaking on the Susquehanna River in late January has been found. The remains of 24-y/o Nicholas Herr were recovered Sun. morning (03-11), according to Lancaster Co. Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni. He said a positive identification had been made and that Herr's family had been notified. Diamantoni could not confirm a report that Herr's body was found on the York Co. side of the river, about 2 mi. S. of Holtwood. It was not clear Sun. how crews found the body.

Officials with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Comm., the agency leading the investigation, were not immediately available for comment. Herr went missing the night of Jan. 28 while kayaking with a friend, Archie McConnell, 24, of Quarryville. The 2 men launched their kayaks from Muddy Creek Boat Access on the York Co. side of the river around 10:30 p.m. and headed toward an island, where they had previously camped. They encountered rough waters, and Herr's kayak overturned. McConnell went to help his friend, who panicked and pulled McConnell into the water. Officials said both men were wearing lifejackets.

As Herr clung to his kayak, McConnell swam to shore and made his way to a nearby home. A 911 call was placed around 11:25 p.m. Rescuers searched for Herr for several hrs. that night and into the next morning, but had to suspend search efforts due to near-freezing water temperatures. In the days that followed, numerous searches were conducted, but rescuers found no sign of Herr. The Rawlinsville Fire Company was the lead agency in the search.

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