BEACH LAKE, PA — On Saturday, September 3, 2022, the National Park Service, the Sullivan County Dive Task Force, the Matamoras Dive Team, along with the Yulan, Shohola, and Sparrowbush Fire …
BEACH LAKE, PA — On Saturday, September 3, 2022, the National Park Service, the Sullivan County Dive Task Force, the Matamoras Dive Team, along with the Yulan, Shohola, and Sparrowbush Fire Departments responded to a drowning on the Upper Delaware River a mile and half below the Roebling Bridge in Barryville, NY.
A preliminary investigation from the New York State Police revealed that Ricardo Ismalej Xujar, age 47 from Flanders, NY was at the Landers Minisink Campground with family and friends for the holiday weekend. Xujar entered the river at approximately 1:30 p.m. and attempted to swim across when he became fatigued and went under the water and did not resurface. The National Park Service indicated that Xujar was not wearing a life jacket. Xujar was located at approximately 6:43 p.m. and was pronounced deceased by a Town of Highland Ambulance Paramedic.
This makes the second drowning in the park this year. Out of the 76 drownings in the park since 1980, 57% were related to swimming and none of the victims were wearing a properly fitted and fastened lifejacket at the time of their death.
The Upper Delaware River can look very deceiving on the surface especially when the water levels are low. Surface waters can appear to be placid but underneath the current can be strong and swift and can cause people to panic when they find themselves in the river’s powerful current. Also, steep drop offs may not be visible to those wading in the water until they find themselves in the deep rapidly moving waters of the river. To prevent someone from becoming a statistic park staff recommend that all river users always wear a properly fitted life jacket at all times when on or near the river and especially when SWIMMING. It is the one piece of safety equipment that will save a life when worn properly and is in good condition.
To learn more about how to make your next visit to the park a safe one visit https://go.nps.gov/RiverSafety. Please remember to wear a life jacket not only for yourself but for your friends and family. This one thing can make all the difference in the world to those you love and those who love you.
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