Boaters rescued at Lake Clarke

John Joyce
  • A family of eight boaters had to be rescued as their boat began to sink on Lake Clarke Sunday.
  • No injuries were reported as York and Lancaster water rescue crews worked to save them.
  • Waterway conservation officers said the boaters rescued Sunday did everything "by the book."

Eight boaters were rescued off choppy waters at Lake Clarke on the Susquehanna River about two miles south of Lock 2 at Long Level Marina, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Waterway Conservation officers said Sunday.

The boat, a 20-foot Bass Tracker, became disabled about 11:45 a.m. after taking on water, and it began to sink.

The occupants, four adults and four children, ranged in age from 18 months old to 58, Officer Darrin Kephart said.

"They were down around ... probably around 2 1/2 miles on the Lancaster (County) shoreline," he said.

Water rescue crews from Lancaster and York counties worked together Sunday afternoon to bring eight boaters and their disabled Bass Tracker to shore along the Susquehanna River. None of the occupants was injured, officials said.

Multiple units from Lancaster County as well as Lake Clarke rescue responded and helped secure the passengers, the boat and any equipment that went into the water. The boat never capsized, Kephart said. Rather, it filled with water until it was even with the waterline. The occupants never left the boat but were all rescued before it completely filled, he added.

"It went very smooth. Good communication between Lancaster County Control, all the units that were here out of York and Lancaster," Kephart said. "Incident command did a good job on that."

The operator of the boat did everything right, Kephart said.  He had all the necessary safety equipment.

"It was all done by the book. It's just Mother Nature overpowered him on this one. The wind and the weather, the wave coming over the bow of the boat. More water coming on faster than they could pump it out," he said.

— Reach John Joyce atjjoyce2@yorkdispatch.comor on Twitter at @JohnJoyceYD.