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Contact: Kathleen Sandt, Public Affairs Specialist, (570) 234-9144 (c); (570) 426-1472 (o)
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Superintendent John J. Donahue announced that park rangers recovered the body of Darius L.Vinson of Far Rockaway, NY, from the Delaware River just north of the I-80 toll bridge today at approximately 2 pm.
Vinson, 26, was swimming with a friend near the Karamac Parking Area at approximately 3:30 pm yesterday when he began to struggle in the current and went under. His friend attempted to rescue him but he too was caught in the strong current and began to struggle before being rescued by passing kayakers. Neither man was wearing a life jacket.
National Park Service (NPS) rangers began searching the area almost immediately on foot and in boats with assistance from Shawnee, Delaware Water Gap, and Portland Volunteer Fire Departments and Bushkill and Suburban EMS crews. The NPS Dive Team searched underwater for approximately 2 hours last night before suspending the search due to darkness. Divers resumed operations this morning. Vinson's body was recovered in 10 feet of water approximately 800 yards downstream from where he entered the water.
As the heat and summer sun entices more and more people to cool off on and in the river, the NPS wants to share some basic water safety tips to keep you safe. "The park offers 3 protected beaches with lifeguards on duty in the summer months and we encourage all of our visitors to swim in those designated areas," said Superintendent Donahue. "But the simplest thing a person can do to keep themselves safe around the river is to wear a properly fitted and fastened life jacket at all times whether swimming, boating, fishing or floating," he added.