Crews suspend search for missing 8-year-old boy in Susquehanna River

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WATTS TWP., Pa. - Search and rescue crews have been forced to conclude their search for an 8-year-old boy who was swept away in a creek near the Susquehanna River in Perry County on Friday afternoon.

It happened just after 2:15 p.m. in the area of Old Trail Road in Watts Township. The boy and his ten-year-old brother were playing in the water when the eight-year-old was overcome by the water, according to State Police Tpr. Brent Miller.

The ten-year-old called 911, and within minutes, numerous rescue boats were in the water searching for the boy and several helicopters were assisting in the search.

An estimated 84 search and rescue personnel were on-hand from many different agencies to assist in the search, which primarily focused on a canal between Haldeman Island, which is part of Reed Township in Dauphin County, and the riverbank near the Perry County/Dauphin County line.

Divers were unable to enter the water because the current was too strong, officials said. The water was about five feet deep, which is higher than normal, according to Asst. Chief Ethan May of the Duncannon Fire Company.

The water was also very murky, which is also unusual, said May, adding that the water in this section of the river is generally clear and the riverbed is usually visible to the naked eye.

It was still unclear if the boys were alone at the time the eight-year-old fell into the water or had adult supervision, according to Miller.

Poor visibility from the setting sun forced crews to call off the search around 8 p.m. Friday, although the will resume the search Saturday.