Excessive rain raising concerns for river rescuers ahead of boating season

Carlisle/West Shore

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – New Cumberland River Rescue’s heart is on the water, but they do a little bit of everything. 

Everything includes aiding with crashes by providing traffic control, so they know how wet weather impacts land and water. 

“The roadway flooding is the biggest problem we have. People see the signs and think they can get through, turn around, don’t drown. That’s what it means,” said Tim Stoner, first assistant commander of New Cumberland River Rescue. 

Stoner says people just don’t know what they’re driving into on land, or on top of when it comes to water. 

“Depending on how deep the water is you could be driving on an island and not realize it,” said Stoner. 

Stoner says current conditions should have boaters extra cautious when putting boats in the water. 

“When it’s low, it’s not as bad, you can see your obstacles and everything. You see rocks, but when it’s high, you don’t know what’s down there,” said Stoner. 

What could be down there? Well, the possibilities are endless. 

“The hazards can be trees, anything floating down the river, any type of debris. You gotta watch out for that because it can capsize you or damage your boat,” said Stoner. 

Or dams. Last summer, 3-year-old Madelyn Binkley and 25-year-old Mary Bredbenner died after their boat driven by Cody Binkley capsized after hitting the Dock Street Dam. 

Stoner says knowing your route and keeping the boat stocked correctly are crucial. 

“PFDs, personal floatation device, make sure you have them and wear them because that’s a lifesaver right there,” said Stoner. 

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