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Body Discovered In Del. River; Not Confirmed If It’s Missing Boater

UPDATE: A body was discovered in the area of the search. Police have not confirmed if it is the man who went overboard.  


PENNS GROVE, N.J. (CBS) –– Coast Guard helicopters hovered over the Delaware River Sunday afternoon, as a half-dozen search and rescue boats combed the water near Penns Grove, New Jersey.

The search effort was called after a 12-foot boat capsized, around 2 p.m.

Officials say two men who live in one of the houses along the water line went out on the boat to check on crab traps. At some point, the boat flipped and only one of them made it out of the water.

Neither had life vests on.

“I was riding my bike and I heard, ‘help, help.’ I looked and I couldn’t find nobody, and then I saw him pop up,” said George Lieggi, who was riding his bike along the water’s edge near Mills Street when he saw the boat flipped in the water.

He says one man was screaming and frantically swimming to shore, but he never saw another person come up.

“Then he was swimming. The current took him down the first time when he was yelling,” said Lieggi.

For hours, choppers were in the air and half a dozen rescue boats combed part of the Delaware River near Penns Grove, New Jersey.

“I hope they find him because it’s Mother’s Day and you don’t want to see that happen on Mother’s Day,” said Lieggi.

Caroline Ware says the men on the boat are her cousins, Chris and Frankie Montana.

“I honestly can’t really think straight. I’m in shock right now,” said Ware. “I just want somebody, I’m just waiting to hear something, anything.”

Chris is the one made it out the water and was taken to the hospital. He is being treated for hypothermia.

While rescue teams from Delaware, New Jersey, and Philadelphia searched for Frankie.

“I don’t know what happened, but I just really hope they find Frankie,” said Ware.

After about five hours of searching on Sunday, rescue boats left the water. Crews said the conditions became too dangerous to continue. They will return on Monday morning but this time it will be a recovery effort.

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