One man is missing and presumed dead following a boating accident on the Delaware River. The incident happened today, April 18 2014 just after 2:00 p.m. when the unidentified man was hot dogging in a small speed boat. According to witnesses,the man was attempting to jump waves, when the boat went airborne at high speed. The man was ejected from the boat and his last act alive was to grab the steering wheel. That move gave responders a chance to save him, as the boat was going around in a big circle.
An immidate call went out to local fire companies and to the New Jersey State Police Marine Unit. They responded with boats and helicopters, equipped with sonar and infrared technology. There was no sign of the man. Within 30 minutes, the Philadelphia Police Department Marine Unit sent a boat and dive team up. They were observed trying to get the boat out of the way of a huge shipping vessel that was making it's way up the river. It was hoped that the wake from the boat would cause the man to surface .
Local residents converged on the Marina in Croydon, which was the nearest spot to where the incident happened. Some came with binoculars ,others just showed up to watch. Police and emergency responders said that due to the water temperature, and the time the man was in the water,they were going to treat this as a recovery as opposed to a rescue.
Had the man not grabbed the steering wheel, it is quite possible that the boat would have crashed into someone or something, or continued unattended up or down the river. It could have been spotted somewhere in or near the Atlantic Ocean,or near the waterways up upstate Pa.., depending on the tide. Within minutes of the incident,. the Coast Guard was broadcasting an advisory over their radio channels.
Authorities suspended the search and will resume searching tomorrow.
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