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Search Continues For Missing Boater In Bucks County

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Mike Dougherty Mike Dougherty
Mike is a general assignment reporter and editor for KYW Newsradio...
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By Mike Dougherty

BRISTOL, Pa. (CBS) — The search continues for the body of a man who went missing after an accident on the Delaware River in Bucks County, although New Jersey State Police say they are no longer using sonar or divers in the search.

This all began 1 p.m. Friday when police say a man — New Jersey State Troopers have identified as John Poltonowicz of Bristol, Pa. — in a small red and white speed boat tried to jump the wake of an oncoming tug boat. He got ejected from the boat after a crash landing, went under the water and never resurfaced.

New Jersey state trooper Vincent Mancuso says while it might look like fun to jump waves from tugs and other passing boats, it’s extremely dangerous.

“If you go over these large waves at a high enough rate of speed,” he says, “you’re going to jump those waves and you could possibly land on a valley type where the water is so low and shallow that you’re just crashing, bottoming out.”

And if you land at a bad angle, the force could be strong enough to launch a grown man overboard.

Trooper Mancuso says it’s unclear if the missing man was wearing a life jacket. He says everyone — even pets — should wear a vest at all times on the water because you never know what can happen in the blink of an eye.

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