A 63-year-old man who drowned Thursday in the Lehigh River near East Side Boro was identified as Paul Philip Oravec Sr. of McAdoo.
Oravec was fishing in the Lehigh River near the East Side Boro and White Haven border at about 4:30 p.m. when he waded into the water.
State police at Hazleton said he fell and then was swept downstream by the current.
His body was found about one mile downstream in Kidder Township.
Oravec was pronounced dead at the scene by a member of the Carbon County Coroner’s office.
Police said an autopsy was performed at the Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest, and the cause was determined to be drowning.
No suspicious circumstances are surrounding the death, police said.
“The victim was fishing off of Red Rock when he went into the water. We don’t know if he lost his footing or if he stepped into one of the deep holes, but once he went under he did not surface again,” Kidder Fire Chief, Bill Bresnak said.
“Another fisherman reported that they had been fishing all day, but that they were unfamiliar with the river in that area, that the victim wanted to try out a new area.”
Bresnak also reported that the water is extremely cold and moving swiftly. He estimated that the body had traveled at least ½ to ¾ of a mile from where the fisherman had fallen into the river.
The call came into dispatch at 5:58 PM. Rescuers responded from Kidder Township, Hickory Run State Park, Weatherly, White Haven, Valley Regional and Lehigh/Luzerne Regional. According to Bresnak 36 rescuers took park in the recovery of the body.
The investigation of the incident is being handled by the Pennsylvania State Police out of Hazelton. The fisherman entered the water in White Haven and was recovered in Kidder Township. The Lehigh River in that region is considered to be part of the state park.
Carbon County Coroner Bruce Nalesnik removed the body of the fisherman from the scene of at 7 p.m. Nalesnik was not sure if an autopsy would be performed.