Three boaters pulled from Delaware River

Three people who were left clinging to their overturned boat in the Delaware River for 11 hours are okay, after being rescued by a commercial crabber off Woodland Beach.

The rescued boaters, all from the Middletown area, were returned to shore Monday morning.

Joseph Phillips Jr., 51, declined treatment while Dorothy Griffin, 54, and Richard Bush, 49, were evaluated at a hospital for exposure and then released.

Authorities say the three departed Sunday evening to go fishing, but the 15-footer unexpectedly capsized when someone stood up in the vessel. None of the three were wearing life jackets.

“When their boat capsized, these three anglers did the right thing: they stayed with their boat till help arrived,” said DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement spokesman Sgt. Gregory Rhodes. “The outcome could have been much worse.”

They were spotted early Monday by a local crabber who pulled them from the water, called for assistance and took them to Flemings Landing to meet an ambulance.

The accident is still under investigation.

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