The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 12, 2014

5 saved from river island

Selinsgrove family stranded while riding tubes

— SUNBURY — A Sunbury water rescue team saved five people Wednesday afternoon who became stranded on an island in middle of the Susquehanna River while riding inflatable tubes.

When he and his family realized their predicament near the PPL dam, Roger Hilbert Jr., of Selinsgrove, said they first thought about maneuvering through the water where it was shallow.

“My father, I know, was looking for a way,” he said.

Roger Hilbert Jr. jumped into the water, swam from the island to the eastern banks of the Susquehanna River and called 911 water rescue.

“I just swam,” he said. “The water wasn’t cold.”

His father, mother, sister and family friends were returned to the Sunbury boat dock about 5:30 p.m. after two motorized rescue boats were launched to the island.

“We were just trying to have a nice, fun afternoon,” Hilbert said, shaking his head as he stood on banks waiting for his family to return. “I’ll never do this again.”

He suffered a few leg bruises, but said he was OK.

“I know my father was hoping not to have to call 911,” he said.

After the entire family returned to the banks, they split up, walked to their cars and drove off.

Sunbury fire police and water rescue team, as well as Americus ambulance, assisted the family.


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