BUSHKILL - Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Superintendent John J. Donahue announced that rangers recovered the body Jose F. Loja, 35, of East Stroudsburg, PA at approximately 4 p.m. Monday afternoon, July 17, along the Pennsylvania shoreline of the Delaware River, just north of Smithfield Beach.
Loja had been missing since the canoe he was in capsized around 5 p.m. on Sunday evening.
Park rangers and rescuers from Bushkill Fire Department searched the area until sundown and resumed the search first thing Monday morning with assistance from the NPS Dive Team. Loja was pronounced dead at the scene by the Monroe County Coroner. The cause of death is under investigation. He was not wearing a life jacket.
The NPS reminds all river users to wear a properly-fitted, US Coast Guard-approved life jacket while swimming, floating, fishing, or boating on the Delaware River. “The river current is strong and swift, despite calm appearances in some areas, and the depth can change suddenly, often going from knee-deep to over your head in a single step,” said Donahue. “Wearing a life jacket at all times is one simple thing that a person can do to ensure a fun and safe day on, and in, the river.”