11-Day Search for Fisherman Ends After Police Pull His Body from the Delaware River

by Jon D. B.

The discovery of his body in the Delaware River brings closure to the death of a local fisherman who went missing on September 8.

Early in the morning hours of September 8, 2022, the boat of two fisherman capsized near Cherry Island along the Delaware River. After the event, one fisherman was able to make it to shore. The other fisherman, however, would drown within Upper Scenic River & Recreation Area.

The New York State Police, as well as Sparrowbush, Port Jervis, and Matamoras Fire Departments, alongside Swift Water Rescue Teams from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania all assisted with the search for the second fisherman.

In addition, Upper Delaware S&RR Law Enforcement Rangers continued to search the Delaware River daily both within the park boundary and south in the river to the 206 bridge in Matamoras, PA.

After a week-and-a-half of searching, the body of the fisherman was found on September 19, 2022, at approximately 2:00pm. His body was discovered within the Delaware River in New Jersey by the NY State Police helicopter crew, bringing a close to the 11-day search for the local man. His identity is currently private.

The Delaware River Can Be Treacherous

When the river reads over six feet at the Barryville Gage, properly-fitting life jackets must be on all boaters and fisherman for stretches of the river south of Narrowsburg, the national recreation area cites.

“For stretches of the river north of Narrowsburg, the Callicoon Gage must read six feet and above,” the park continues. Regardless, “River levels are unpredictable. Heavy rainfall can cause the river to rise quickly and with increased river speed.”

The USGS provides river conditions for the Delaware River here. Be sure to check conditions before recreating on any body of water.

Furthermore, the National Park Service (NPS) reminds everyone that may be out on the Upper Delaware River this fall or winter in a boat, canoe, or kayak that each person, regardless of age must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket during these cold weather months. This is a regulation by law, not a recommendation.

NPS’s Cold Water Life Jacket Wear regulation is in effect from November 1st through April 30th.   And remember, the life you save may be your own.

As for the park itself, the river & recreation area allows visitors to canoe through rapids and quiet pools as the Delaware River winds its way through a valley of swiftly changing scenery. Visitors also fish amid rolling hills and riverfront villages, too, in “one of the finest fishing rivers in the northeastern United States.”

The historic Delaware River is the only remaining river in the eastern United States without a dam. As such, it supports a healthy ecosystem and offers tranquility and excitement amidst clean waters.