Home / US / Lehigh River rescuers look for 145 lost rafters; they all seem to be OK ashore

Lehigh River rescuers look for 145 lost rafters; they all seem to be OK ashore

Monday night, Rescue teams from Lehigh and Northampton counties were deployed to the Lehigh River rainforest after Lehighton officials reported missing up to 145 rafters.

Three hours later, Gary Williams, director of Carbon County 911, said an emergency The officers were pretty confident that everyone who made the raft trip would be alive and kicking.

"It sounds like they're just wrapping it up [the search]," Williams said at 9:45 pm "You seem to be happy with the numbers, otherwise they would still be out there." Local people talk to rafting. Company. "

Wildwater Rafting Adventures of Nesquehoning arranged the trip for a 200-person New York camping group, he said, adding that he believed the rafters were on their way home on buses.

The confusion and more than a little panic started at 6:40 am when someone in Bowmanstown spotted an empty raft and reported that a person might be missing.

Officials spoke to Whitewater Rafting and found that they had sent 200 rafters downstream from Jim Thorpe and at least 55 rafters were safe and out of the water. But the company did not have reliable information about where the other 1

45 rafters were.

"They said that 200 rafters had gone out and only 55 had come back," said a Dispatcher of Carbon County at about 20 o'clock. "We're trying to explain 150. So it's a big deal happening right now, we're trying to accommodate all of them."

Lifeboats went up and down the river, scouring the water, islands, and riverbanks for rafters who needed help. The hunt extended south from a bridge in Jim Thorpe to the bridge on Route 873 at Walnutport.

The boats were getting ready to go out again when the darkness set in at 20.45. As another ambulance said there were signs that most, if not all, of the rafters would soon be confirmed as safe.

"It sounds like they [the rafters are] are not in the water," said the dispatcher. "That's how far it looks, but it's a mess."

The rafters took the trip on a day with unusual strong thunderstorms. The river flow was heavy, which increased the concerns of the emergency workers.

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