Rescuers pull teenage hunter from Susquehanna
Bystander hears boy yell after kayak holding deer capsizes
Firefighters rescued a teenage hunter from the Susquehanna River after his kayak capsized Saturday near Peach Bottom Marina while he was returning with a buck he’d shot in York County.
The 16-year-old boy was taken to Lancaster General Hospital to be treated for severe hypothermia, said Phil Smith, chief of Robert Fulton Fire Company. He remained hospitalized Sunday afternoon.
Nancy Schutsky, who lives on the river in Fulton Township just south of the marina, was outside putting up Christmas decorations when she heard yelling.
“Talk about being in the right place at the right time,” Schutsky, 68, said Sunday.
Sometimes, she said, she’ll hear flocks of birds on the river that almost sound human. At first, that’s what she thought she was hearing.
“I realized very quickly that what I was hearing was ‘Help!’ ” she said.
She ran inside and grabbed binoculars to scan the
river while her husband called 911 shortly before 1:30 p.m. and set up his spotting scope.
The boy’s screams grew weaker and weaker then stopped, she said.
With her binoculars, Schutsky said, she saw a tiny dot near the middle of the river, but closer to the York side. The river is more than a mile wide in the area.
“It’s called Conowingo Pond,” Schutsky said. “It’s not a pond. It’s got plenty of current.”
Firefighters rescued the boy, who was clinging to the kayak, soon after arriving. Smith wasn’t sure how long the boy had been in the water.
Firefighters then retrieved the kayak and the six-point buck, which was tied to the kayak.
A Pennsylvania Game Commission officer took the buck, presumably so it wouldn’t go to waste, Smith said.
Conestoga and Rawlinsville fire companies also responded.