Teen Drowns In Delaware River Found Floating After Swim With Friends

Posted: June 22, 1995

For many teen-agers, the first day of summer marks the beginning of fun- filled, carefree days.

But for Mark Cruz, 17, it marked the end of his life.

Cruz's body was pulled from the Delaware River yesterday near Penn Treaty Park at Columbia Avenue and Beach Street. He drowned shortly after 1 p.m. while swimming with friends.

"He was just floating on the water," said Renee Jones, of North Philadelphia, who wasn't at the park with Cruz but saw him pulled from the river.

Petty Officer James Green, of the Philadelphia marine police, said he received a call about 1:15 p.m. about a possible drowning.

"When we got on the scene, he was already out of the water and land crews (paramedics) were performing CPR on him," Green said.

He was takn to Neumann Medical Center, where doctors spent an additional 37 minutes trying to resuscitate Cruz. But according to Joseph Hare, chief executive officer of Neumann Medical Center, there was little hope.

"He was under water for approximately 20 minutes," Hare said. "Normally, in colder weather, resuscitation attempts are more successful, but given the time of the year and the fact that he was under water for so long . . ."

Dr. Rene Suero, one of the doctors who attempted to revive Cruz, said there was very little that could be done.

"By the time he got here, there were no vital signs," Suero said. "We tried everything, but he just never responded." Suero said an autopsy would be performed today.

Cruz, who would have graduated from Kensington High School this summer, recently enlisted in the Marines. Triston Spencer, a Marine recruiter, said Cruz was to begin boot camp after completing some summer school courses in August.

"He was very likable and quiet, but he always brightened up when he was around other enlistees," Spencer said.

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