By: Chris Hoffman
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The boating community lost one of their own Friday night.
The victim in his mid 20s died after falling into the Allegheny River just under the 31st Street Bridge.
“I’ve met them before. Our boating community is very, very tight around here. Everyone knows each other, so it’s just sad,” boater Roy Sparrow said.
According to Pittsburgh Public Safety, the man fell into the river around 9:45 p.m. Friday.
Rescue crews say he was with friends on a boat. They were bringing it in to dock at Washington’s Landing Marina when the victim either fell or jumped into the water.
Boaters said just because you’re this close to the shoreline doesn’t mean the water is any less dangerous. They say there are parts of the marina where the water is more than 10 feet deep.
“Our marina is one of the safest around, but right where we dock our boats at is 12 feet deep,” Sparrow told KDKA.
“The paramedic divers entered the water very shortly after the call came in. They were on scene for I believe 3-4 minutes before they had divers in the water,” Pittsburgh EMS District Chief Mike Rogers said.
EMS rescue divers searched the water for about 2 hours before they found his body. It was about 40 feet downriver. Poor visibility made finding the victim a challenge for divers.
“They were ensnared in multiple trees debris. Zero visibility. The sedan meant down there was blinding. It was just a by feel search,” Rogers said at the scene.
Pittsburgh Police and the PA Fish and Boat Commission are investigating.