Search continues for man who fell out of boat on Susquehanna river

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LOWER WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Recovery efforts continued on Wednesday as crews searched for the 35-year-old man, who fell out of a boat into the Susquehanna River in York County on Tuesday night.

“When you switch from rescue to recovery mode, it takes a hit on the guys, they still want to do their best and go out here and hopefully find this gentleman,” said Duane Hagelgans, Chief Commissioner, Blue Rock Fire Rescue.

Emergency crews from around the area, along with Pennsylvania State Police all assisted with search efforts.

“The current was pretty swift last night, especially with the weather turned, but you’ve got to remember with the dam open, the water is constantly flowing down at a pretty good rate of speed,” added Hagelgans.

Duane Hagelgans, with Blue Rock Fire Rescue says the man went to step off the boat and slipped between the boat and the dock.

The family of that man, who did not wish to speak on camera, told FOX43 he was on the boat with seven of his co-workers, who tried to rescue him but couldn't get to him.

“The river is a dangerous place, I mean every year we’re down here for dozens of a calls," added Hagelgans.

He was not wearing a life jacket.

“Here’s a perfect example, had he had a life vest on, we’re speculating that he might have hit his head on the way in, but the life vest would have kept his head above water," said Hagelgans.

Hagelgans says they did face some challenges with the rescue with it being a holiday.

“You have all these other folks on the river and you’ve got to be concerned about their safety also," he said.

People out on the water, say they were shocked to hear what had a happened.

“To hear that it happened out here at the marina, not out on the river, so that’s why we wear life vests," Suzanne Korb, boater.

“It burns my heart to know that actually someone is missing and that they don’t have their family members all together…that’s very sad," said Samuel Dienner, boater.

“It’s a very sad situation obviously, you know more than likely we’ve lost this gentleman so you know his family has to deal with that, our thoughts our with them," added Hagelgans.

The mans identity has not yet been released, however officials say he is from Lancaster.

Hagelgans says rescue efforts will continue on Saturday if there are no developments between now and then since all rescue efforts are volunteer-based.

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