News Department

Crews search Delaware River for missing 19-year-old swimmer

UPDATE: Body of missing swimmer recovered from the Delaware River

DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA – Authorities are engaged in a search by boat and foot for a missing swimmer who was reported to be struggling in the water while swimming in the Delaware River at Karamac at around 8:00 p.m. on Thursday evening.

Karamac is located on the New Jersey side of the park, about a mile north of Interstate 80. 

According to witness statements, Jose Madera Martinez, 19, of Paterson was attempting to swim from the shoreline to the bridge abutments with three other people when he began struggling in the current before disappearing under the water.

The current in this section of the river is particularly swift, officials said.

Three other swimmers were later rescued by volunteer rescue team members from Portland Hook and Ladder Company out of Portland, PA. None of the swimmers were wearing a life jacket.  

According to US Park Ranger and incident commander for this search Todd Roessner, “crews are also keeping an eye on the weather which could affect the safety of rescuers. In the event of foul weather, the search will be suspended temporarily until conditions are again deemed safe.”

The National Park Service rangers and Search and Rescue Team members from Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River are assisting in the search.

The Delaware River is at 8 feet at the Montague gauge, and rising, which is two to three feet higher than average for this time of year, making conditions unsafe and unsuitable for dive operations.

Park Rangers remind river users that any time the river reaches the 8 foot mark at the Montague gauge, lifejackets are mandatory for all boaters.  When the Delaware reaches 15 feet, the river and all access points are closed.

To monitor the river levels, click here

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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