Accident Database

Report ID# 93513

  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water
  • High Water
  • Inadequate Equipment
  • Inexperience
  • One Boat Trip
  • Solo Paddling

Accident Description

From John Geiger

Charlie about 5 yesterday (5/24) the police stopped us at the Tohickon takeout. They were trying to account for drivers and cars. Someone reported a kayak in the Delaware and possible swimmer. The police I talked to had no idea about the type of kayak. I saw a brief clip on the news last night and it looked like a blue sit-on-top. No person or body was found yesterday although they did the typical airboat and jet ski search.
I learned from a friend of the boater that it was a man, mid-thirties and no PFD. As of about noon today no body recovered. It sounds like they tracked him down to a car at one of the put-ins. The river was high and the air temp in the low to mid 50's. The neighbor told me that he had a dog with him that was found.

The friend was waiting at the rescue staging area for the persons parents to arrive from Florida. I believe it was primarily the Plumstead Police, at least as of yesterday an probably the New Hope rescue Dive team that was there today. That is only speculation.

I don’t know the exact water levels you can probably get that from an online gauge. I believe the boat was spotted between the Tohickon and the lumberville wing dam. not certain of that. From what the neighbors told me he typically did not use a PFD 
and was dressed in jeans and sweatshirt type clothing.

Missing kayaker not found on Delaware River

Bucks County Intelligencer

Posted Apr 29, 2020   

Rescue teams spent much of Friday and Saturday searching for a man who fell into the Delaware River near Plumstead. Rescue teams were unsuccessful in locating a kayaker who witnesses said fell into the Delaware River on Friday. Point Pleasant Fire Co. Chief Scott Fliescher said crews spent a large portion of the Friday and Saturday searching for the man.

“Someone witnessed a kayaker slip his kayak (and) struggle to regain his kayak,” he said. “The kayak got away from him, and (the person) witnessed him go under water.”

Mike Parker, communications director for the state Fish and Boat Commission, which has jurisdiction over the river, said Wednesday morning that a body had not been recovered. He said witnesses reported the man was not wearing a life jacket.

The fire chief said rescue crews were called to the river just south of Point Pleasant in Plumstead at about 4 p.m. Friday. Divers and other rescue teams and first responders from both sides of the river were there, according to the chief, who said they searched until dark Friday and resumed Saturday morning. “We had quite a few people out on Saturday and did a very thorough search of the area,” he said.

Rescue teams used sonar technology as well as dogs to help find the man, but ultimately were not able to find him, according to Fleischer. The search stopped by about 4 p.m. Saturday.  Information on the man who fell in was not immediately available Wednesday.

On Tuesday Fleischer said there was not an active search for the man. Parker noted that boaters are required to wear a life jacket on boats less than 16 feet in length from November through April. He said that while it may seem warm outside, the water has not warmed up that much, and cold water can debilitate those in the water.

Tyler Fitzgibbons Body was found 25 miles down stream in Levittown 11 days later.  

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