Crews search Allegheny River for man who fell from jet ski
Emergency personnel scoured the Allegheny River on Sunday for a Penn Hills man they fear drowned after overturning a personal watercraft in South Buffalo Township.
Authorities were not identifying the missing 40-year-old man, who as of 9 p.m. had not been found.
According to Randy Brozenick, chief of the South Buffalo Volunteer Fire Company, the man was riding a personal watercraft with a young male relative about 4:15 p.m. when it somehow overturned about a mile upriver from Murphy Island. Other family members on a nearby pontoon boat were able to pull the boy from the river, but not the man before he disappeared underwater.
Both were wearing life vests, though the man's was unbuckled, Brozenick said. The life vest was found about an hour later, several hundred feet downriver from where the man went under.
By 5:30 p.m., at least five rescue boats from the area and a dive team from Murrysville were searching the river. Allegheny County rescuers joined the search about 7 p.m. with search dogs and sonar equipment.
Brozenick said the search dogs appeared to pick up a scent about 300 yards downriver from where the man was last seen, but found no signs of a definitive location. Rescue teams focused on the area based on the timing of the incident and the speed of the river's current, which rescuers determined to be around 5 mph.
“Despite the heavy rainfall today, the river isn't moving all that much faster,” he said. “This river does have an undertow, though, and that right now is the concern.”
The search was suspended about 9 p.m. as darkness fell over the stretch of river and weather forecasts predicted further storms.
The man disappeared before the stormy weather reached South Buffalo and it did not factor into the incident, according to Brozenick. By the family's account, he said, the personal watercraft was in good working order and the missing man was a strong swimmer.
Westmoreland County, Harrison, Freeport, Gilpin, Vandergrift, Leechburg and Armstrong County emergency crews assisted in the response. The search is scheduled to continue early Monday.
“We're doing everything we possibly can to find this guy for his family,” Brozenick said. “We're in recovery mode.”
Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Authorities release name of Greensburg man who jumped off overpass onto Route 30
- Penguins face important test with pre-playoff meetings against Flyers
- Franklin Regional grad Hickey continues to prepare for NFL Draft
- Penguins notebook: Ehrhoff skates, remains out of lineup
- Obama targets cyber attackers with sanctions
- Pirates notebook: Richard doesn’t exercise opt-out clause in contract
- Steelers re-sign DE Geathers
- Timeless Moody Blues make stop at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall
- Walker: Scottdale Association’s Good Friday service site changes to Trinity church
- DVD reviews: ‘The Imitation Game,’ ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Silicon Valley: The Complete First Season’
- Operating loss widens at Highmark parent