Accident Database

Report ID# 46383

  • Unknown
  • Hypothermia
  • Cold Water
  • Solo Paddling
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

Chuck Moore stopped by a friend's house the morning of December 27, 2016, with his kayak to see if the friend wanted to join him kayaking on the Susquehanna River. It was a warm, sunny day with a high around 61 degrees and winds were up to 15 mph. The friend declined because of cold water temperatures of 34 degrees. Chuck left the friend's house and apparently continued on alone. His car was parked at Safe Harbor Park, south of Lancaster, PA, which is inferred to be the put-in point. 

After not showing up to work and being reported missing, a search was conducted by local authorities on December 29. First his car was found, then his overturned kayak was found near the Holtwood Dam 8 miles downstream of Safe Harbor, and finally his body was found in the river about 4 miles downstream of Safe Harbor. The Lancaster County Coroner ruled the cause of death to be hypothermia; his body was frozen when found and there was no water in the lungs to indicate drowning. There are no known witnesses to the accident.

Chuck was wearing a T-shirt, long pants, sneakers, and a pfd. He was a professional and hobby photographer and had a professional-style camera with him. He had started kayaking in the early 2000s using an inflatable kayak. The last few years he had used plastic kayaks but not with a spray skirt and he did not know how to roll. He was of stocky build and athletic. He lived for many years in Maine and was accustomed to wearing shorts year-round without getting cold after moving to the mid-Atlantic .



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