A rescue crew ends its search for missing Wrightsville-area boater Robert Brennan as dusk falls Monday.
A rescue crew ends its search for missing Wrightsville-area boater Robert Brennan as dusk falls Monday. (Greg Gross)

The second day of searching the Susquehanna River for a missing Wrightsville-area boater ended Monday night with no result as crews moved into recovery operations.

Robert Brennan, 63, has been missing since the canoe he, his wife and their dog were in tipped over on Sunday.

"It's more of a recovery...at this point," said Jason Barclay, assistant fire chief of Maytown-East Donegal Township.

A limited number of crews are tentatively slated to return Tuesday to resume the search. They'll be joined by state police cadaver dogs, Barclay said.

The search: Numerous rescue crews in boats from Lancaster County searched the river Monday morning before returning in the afternoon to resume the efforts. A river rescue team from Harrisburg with a boat equipped with stronger sonar equipment joined the efforts in the evening.

At the height of the search, six boats were in the water, with crews scanning a roughly mile-and-a-half section of the river.

"We are searching by boat, land and air," said Lt. Stephan Englert of Susquehanna Regional Police in Lancaster County.

At one point, a state police helicopter was called in to search the water and shorelines but to no avail, Barclay said.

Barclay said the underwater terrain posed some problems for searchers in boats.

"It's very rapid. It's fast water. It's deep, it's shallow, and it's very rocky," he said.


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Search team: Nine members of the Lebanon County Search Unit also took part in the search, scanning both sides of the river bank for any sign on Brennan.

The team's search dog, a German shepard called Krypto, attempted to track the missing man's scent but didn't turn up any hits, said Josh Wyse, the unit's deputy chief.

For the team members, Monday was a long day. It began at 7:15 a.m. when they met to make the journey to Riverfront Park, the staging area for the search, near Marietta, and ended after 8 p.m. when the search was called off.

Canoe tipped over: Brennan went missing about 3 p.m. Sunday when the canoe tipped over just downstream from the Shock Mill Bridge, a railroad bridge over the river, near the Riverfront Park boat launch.

The wife and dog were found safe, he said, and she was treated at the scene by medics.

Brennan and his wife weren't wearing life vests, officials said.

The canoe, which had righted itself, was found downstream from the park with a life vest and Brennan's wallet inside.

Englert said the area being searched is vast, so it's unclear how long it might take to find Brennan.

- Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com. Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.