UPPER DELAWARE - Summer is in full swing, an obvious fact no less at the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River. Superintendent Kris Heister, National Park Service, shared statistics from the four-day July 4th holiday weekend, and how they compared with the entire month of June.

Counts of visitor contacts are based on data compiled by Park Service staff and volunteers with the National Canoe Safety Patrol.
She reported at the July 6th meeting of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) the following data:

For the month of June 2017, they had:
1,933 visitor contacts
22 rescues
14 overturned boats.
For the holiday period, July 1- 4, they had:
1,905 visitor contacts
37 rescues
35 overturned boats.

Scary incident

“We had kind of a scary incident,” Heister said, during the July 4th weekend. A young woman working this summer as an intern for the Park Service, was by herself in a canoe, helping to spread the message about wearing personal flotation devices. She was at Millrift Rapids when two young men surprised her by jumping into her canoe. The canoe turned over.

The Superintendent said that the two young men will be charged with Assault and Interference With Government Operations.

Loaning life jackets

A lot of life jackets were loaned over the holiday weekend, Heister reported. The Park Service has set up their first of what they hope will be six loaner life jacket stations. A variety of sized jackets are given out, to help ensure the safety of the public having recreation on the Delaware River.

The first loaner station is set up at the Kittatinny Canoes Luke’s Landing. The stations are built and ready to be installed, and as of June 20th, were pending receipt of the life jackets.

She said that the stations are to be placed where there is a lot of swimming. She added that their statistics reveal that most of the people who have drowned on the Upper Delaware were trying to swim. None of their drowning victims were wearing PFDs.

Virtual tour

One may now have a “virtual visit” to the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River by going to their website, and clicking on “Upper Delaware Virtual Tour.”  Created for the centennial of the National Park Service, the tour includes five separate modules. These include River Access Points; History and Culture; River Recreation & Safety; Take a Hike!; and Wildlife & Ecology.

They present an interactive reference guide to the “outstandingly remarkable values” of this unit of the National Park Service.

Visit the website at https://www.nps.gov/upde/index.htm.
The UDC meets on the first Thursday at 7 p.m. at 211 Bridge St., Narrowsburg, NY. The office may be contacted at 845-252-3022.