Two young men who had been swept away in the Neshaminy Creek Tuesday remained missing despite a continuing search by a variety of marine units, divers and helicopters. Authorities Wednesday said hope was fading that the swimmers would be found alive.
"Our feeling is it's a search and recovery at this point," said Fred Harran, Bensalem Township director of public safety, noting that the creek had swelled following recent storms.
The two swimmers, who went missing at around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Harran said, were identified as Dan Tadrzynski, 18, and Perry Krewson, 19. Krewson is a 2013 graduate of Bensalem Township High School, according to Harran. Krewson, he added, was set to depart for Marines boot camp in about a month.
Tadrzynski's Facebook page said he is a 2013 graduate of Bucks County Technical High School.
A third swimmer was able to escape safely, Harran said, although he did not identify the swimmer because he is a minor.
Christina Kanuck said in a brief interview Wednesday morning that the third swimmer was her son, Nick Lawrence, 17.
She said Lawrence was safe but "distraught," since Tadrzynski and Krewson were among his closest friends.
Tadrzynski's and Krewson's families were at the fire department serving as the search command center Wednesday, but they chose not to speak to reporters.
Harran said that teams from a variety of Bucks County and Philadelphia departments spent most of the day Wednesday searching the creek down to the Delaware River. The efforts, he said, included divers combing the creek's murky waters, marine units observing the waters and banks, and helicopters circling above. New Jersey State Police were searching in the Delaware River as well, he added.
He said that efforts in the creek would stop for the night around 8 p.m. Wednesday - nearly 24 hours after the two went missing - but would resume Thursday morning.
"We'll continue as long as we have to," he said, saying that he "can't imagine" what the families of the missing are going through.
Friends described Tadrzynski and Krewson as friendly and well-liked, and said that there was an outpouring of supportive statements circulating on Facebook Wednesday.
"They're really fun people to be around," said Danielle DiBiasio, 17, a rising senior at Bensalem Township High School who has known Tadrzynski and Krewson for several years through mutual friends.
DiBiasio said that Neshaminy Falls, where the teens went missing, has long been a popular community swimming spot, a sentiment echoed by several other area residents.
Lawrence's mother said she had gone swimming there with Lawrence just last week, and Penndel native Mike Stemme, 28, watching search crews in the creek Wednesday afternoon, said that the spot is well-known for its rope swing and is often used as a staging ground for bonfires. He started going there when he was about 15, he said.
Harran was aware of the spot's popularity, saying "I'm told people have been swimming here for as long as it's been." He added that there are no laws against swimming in the creek.
Contact Chris Palmer at 609-217- 8305, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter, @cs_palmer