The first drowning reported in 2017 on the Upper Delaware occurred last month, and again, the victim was not wearing a life jacket.

NARROWSBURG, NY - The first drowning reported in 2017 on the Upper Delaware occurred last month, and again, the victim was not wearing a life jacket.

Superintendent Kris Heister, Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River/ National Park Service gave this report to the Upper Delaware Council (UDC), August 3rd.

The 69 year old man, from New York State, was canoeing near Barryville when the canoe hit a rock and capsized, in the rapids. He was near the Pennsylvania side, by the bridge to Shohola. Heister said that an autopsy confirmed he had drowned.

He was the 69th drowning victim on the Upper Delaware since the Park Service began operations here in 1980.

This was one case of 67 overturned boats reported in July on the Upper Delaware. Statistics compiled from the National Canoe Safety Patrol and Park Service staff show that 7,827 “visitor contacts” were made on the river, compared to about 1,900 in June. There were 150 rescue (22 in June), 67 flipped boats (15 in June) and 54 times that the Park Service rangers were dispatched.

The U.S. Public Health Service, Public Risk Management Program, visited the Upper Delaware, July 19-21, and reviewed the river safety program which the Park Service has in place. She said there was good feedback and recommendations provided, which will be shared with the UDC.

Zane Grey Festival on July 15 was very well attended, with 375 people.