After four rescues in five days, police in one Bucks County township are urging residents to take caution when venturing onto the Delaware River.
First responders in Solebury Township warned that recent heavy rains had swollen the river, increasing the power of its currents, which are swift even under normal conditions.
“We haven’t seen levels this high in several years,” said Police Detective Jonathan Koretzky. “The surface of the water may look calm, but underwater, those currents are strong.”
Last summer, Koretzky said, township police only had to rescue one resident from the river, in September. The current volume, he said, is troubling.
Police and fire personnel responded to three calls on Sunday alone: A kayaker reported missing about 2 p.m. near Virginia Forrest State Park, a rafter who fell into the water near the Stockton Bridge four hours later, and two people who became trapped in the river just before 8:30 p.m. while trying to perform a rescue of their own near Washington Crossing.
More recently, police had to aid two people early Thursday who had become stranded on Hendricks Island. The duo had set out Wednesday evening to rescue a canoe they had left behind, but later found the river was too strong to make a return trip.
In every case, everyone was returned safely, Koretzky said.
“We can’t stop people from going out on the river, and we don’t recommend anyone do so now, while the waters are so high,” he added. “But we’re asking anyone who decides to go out to check conditions first and have life jackets on.”
Last summer, police in Solebury helped recover the body of Marvin Lemus Nolasco, a 27-year-old Philadelphia man who drowned in the Delaware near Washington Crossing on July Fourth.