News

Rescued kayaker pronounced dead at midstate hospital

Written by Staff Report/The Lebanon Daily News | Jul 3, 2017 1:22 AM
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Kayakers console themselves on the banks of the Swatara Creek in Jonestown after one of their group may have drowned.(Photo: John Latimer, Lebanon Daily News)

(Lebanon) -- A Lebanon man who was caught in heavy rapids while kayaking in Swatara Creek Saturday was pronounced dead Saturday evening. 

Perry Ratcliffe Jr., 36, was transported to WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital after being pulled out of the creek's waters by other kayakers in his group, according to a news release issued by state police at Lickdale.

The other kayakers immediately began to conduct CPR on Ratcliffe until emergency crews arrived and got them all to shore. Ratcliffe was pronounced dead at the hospital, the release stated.

The incident occurred after a sudden afternoon thunderstorm with torrential rains swept through Lebanon County on Saturday afternoon, stranding around 14 kayakers along Swatara Creek in Jonestown.

Emergency crews assist kayakers stranded by torrential rains in Jonestown. John Latimer, Lebanon Daily News

 

The Lebanon County Emergency Management Agency responded to reports of a possible drowning victim and stranded kayakers at about 4:40 p.m.

he first reports of kayakers in trouble came about 3:45 p.m. Crews from Jonestown, Bunker Hill, Ono and Fort Indiantown Gap fire companies along with a First Aid & Safety Patrol ambulance were dispatched for a water rescue in the area of Supreme Mid-Atlantic and the Jonestown Dam. 

All 14 kayakers were accounted for, and the box was put back in service by EMA at 4:09 p.m.

About 30 minutes later, there were reports of a possible drowning victim in the same area.

The incident is still under investigation.

This article is part of a content-sharing partnership between WITF and the Lebanon Daily News.

Published in Lebanon, News

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