Police to resume search for man in the Delaware

Posted: August 15, 2011

The Philadelphia police marine unit is to resume searching Monday for a 44-year-old man who jumped into the Delaware for a Saturday-night swim while boating with four friends.

The friends told police that Sidney Spence, of the 4700 block of James Street, jumped in around 11 p.m. and "appeared to be having difficulty swimming," Public Information Officer Tanya Little said. A flotation device was thrown to him, but then he disappeared, she said.

A few hours earlier, the state Fish and Boat Commission cited someone in Spence's boat for fishing without a license while the craft was anchored off Penn's Landing, Waterway Conservation Officer Erin Czech said.

Later, the group docked on the Delaware near Pennypack Creek and reported Spence missing. Czech said that there were initially four men and one woman on the boat, and that three went swimming, including Spence.

She alerted the marine unit and the Coast Guard, and a search began that lasted through Sunday. Czech said Robert DePaul, the boat's operator, was cited for boating while intoxicated.

- Jan Hefler

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