Increase in Delaware River drownings sparks push for warning system

An increase in the number of drownings on the Delaware River has prompted a call for a better warning system. Recreational boaters and tubers flock

An increase in the number of drownings on the Delaware River has prompted a call for a better warning system.

An increase in the number of drownings on the Delaware River has prompted a call for a better warning system. (8/21/13)

FRENCHTOWN - An increase in the number of drownings on the Delaware River has prompted a call for a better warning system.

Recreational boaters and tubers flock to the river during the summer and officials fear many are underestimating the dangers the water holds.

"Even though it looks very flat, the current is really raging," says Chuck Arkell, of Paddle Creek Kayaks. "It's very difficult if someone gets out of their watercraft to get to shore or to get back into their boat."

Arkell says the water level has been especially high, creating a much stronger current, which is being blamed for the deaths of four people this summer and the disappearance of two more. He is pushing for a flag warning system, similar to that at the ocean.

The Delaware is even more dangerous because the depth can change dramatically and without warning. When the river is high, it can also pull debris from the shore, which presents another danger to boaters, whose tubes and rafts can get punctured by sharp branches.

Experts say a life vest is the most important piece of safety gear for going out on the water. Currently, they are only required for boaters of a certain age, and not required by tubers.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

Video: Preparing White House for new president 'organized 1 Video: Preparing White House for new president 'organized chaos'
Two men tried to rob Jose Camilo's liquor 2 Liquor store owner fights back when store is robbed
More than 4,000 people are expected to gather 3 Women's March protest rally to be held in Asbury Park
Workers help build a deck for Boonton resident 4 Nonprofit group builds deck for disabled veteran
More than 600 Sister Marches are taking place 5 Women march in solidarity in Trenton

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE