Man missing in flooded Pennypack Creek

Posted: July 14, 2010

Two incidents in the rain-swollen Pennypack Creek in Northeast Philadelphia yesterday had drastically different outcomes.

In the morning, fire officials rescued a man stuck next to the pillar of a rail bridge near the intersection of Ashburner Street and Frankford Avenue; hours later, rescuers were unable to find a man who vanished in the water a few miles away.

In that second incident, two men fell into the water after their raft overturned near Winchester Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard about 6:50 p.m., police said, but only one man got out safely.

The Police Marine Unit halted its search by 10 last night and had yet to find the 20-year-old man.

A witness said he saw the men floating down the creek in what he described as "pool floats." The witness was riding his bike through the area when he said he saw the two men go over a waterfall. When they didn't resurface, he said he screamed for people to call 9-1-1 while he rushed to the scene.

A marine unit officer said the water in the creek is "swift, and it runs real fast."

"The way it's running now, if you stood in the water, the force would knock you off your feet," the officer said.

"It's that dangerous. Apparently a lot of young people go in the water with rafts. It's really foolish."

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