Search at Beltzville resumes for boater
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Following orders to suspend the search, Ryan Township Dive Team volunteers load their search and rescue boat back onto their hitch prior to yesterday's high winds and rain.
An unidentified man is still missing after apparently falling out of his boat around 6 a.m. yesterday morning at Beltzville Lake in Towamensing Township.
Another boater on the lake heard calls for help and spotted the empty boat, according to Carbon County Communications radio traffic yesterday morning.
Search operations were suspended just before 4 p.m. yesterday and resumed just after 8 a.m. today.
"We had to suspend search operations due to hazardous weather," said Incident Commander Ryan Snyder, Towamensing Fire Company. "The incident is still unfounded."
Dozens of rescue and dive personnel from Carbon, Schuylkill, Montgomery and Lehigh counties were used during yesterday's search. Many were called back to help with today's search.
The Pine Run boat launch, just off Pohopoco Drive and Deer Lane, served as the staging area for search and rescue crews.
Snyder added that the incident occurred approximately 60 yards from the shoreline, which was located in a small cove on the southeast side of the lake, in the area of Evergreen Drive.
Assisting in the search were Lehighton Fire Department's Search and Rescue Dive Team, Northeast Search and Rescue, Lake Harmony Rescue Squad and Dive Team, East Penn Technical Search and Rescue Boat and Dive Team, Ryan Township Emergency Rescue Squad and Dive Team, Schuylkill Haven Dive Rescue and Recovery Team, Mahanoy City West End Water Rescue Team, Whitehall Fire Department's Water Rescue Team, Telford Diving and Rescue Unit, Towamensing Fire Company, Northampton Fire Company, North Penn/Souderton Fire Department's Goodwill Service, Lehighton Ambulance, rangers from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Carbon County Emergency Management Agency.
In addition to search and rescue crews in boats, a PennSTAR helicopter assisted from the air yesterday morning with its special thermal imaging camera.
Like yesterday, volunteers with the Towamensing Fire Company fire police are limiting pedestrian and visitor access to the boat launch area during the search.
Although the boat launches remain closed during the search, officials added that the park,including its beaches, is still open.
As of press time today, crews were still searching for the man.