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Bronx Teenager drowns in Delaware River

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

National Park News

Eliezer Vazquez, 17, of The Bronx, New York, drowned in the Delaware River within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on the afternoon of Saturday, August 13, 2005.
Vazquez was on a kayaking trip on the river with two teenage friends and their father, Ricardo Morales. The trip had begun at Bushkill Access off Route 209 just north of Bushkill PA and was to continue to Smithfield Beach, ten river miles to the south.
The four stopped for lunch at Freeman Point on the Pennsylvania side of the river. After lunch, Vazquez decided to try to swim across the river. Morales immediately got in his kayak and went after the teenager. Vazquez made it about three-quarters of the way across the river, started to struggle, then went under the surface and did not come back up. Morales and other boaters tried to locate the boy, but without success. A cell phone was then used to call for assistance.
The park dispatch center was notified of the incident at 1:12 p.m. Rangers immediately responded, and the park’s dive team began a search for Vazquez. His body was found in the river at a depth of about 14 feet just before 3 p.m. The Delaware River is an estimated 120 to 130 yards wide at the point where the drowning occurred. The current was from one to three miles an hour.
Vazquez' body was transported to Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg PA. The Monroe County Coroner’s office will conduct an autopsy.
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