Crews resume search for NJ rafting accident victim

KNOWLTON TWP., N.J. - June 30, 2013

Thirty-eight-year-old Gary West of Summit was rafting with a group of several other people Saturday afternoon when the raft he and his 14-year-old daughter were on broke free. It drifted toward the Pennsylvania side of the river and overturned around 1:40 p.m.

The teenager suffered minor injuries before reaching land on the Pennsylvania side, but the other group members couldn't find her father. Authorities said the group had embarked from a campground in Knowlton.

Responders searched for West for several hours before suspending their efforts around 8 p.m. Saturday. The search then resumed early Sunday and continued for about five hours before being suspended around 2 p.m.

State police said three dives into the murky river had produced no results, as did an aerial search and a side scan sonar search of the river bottom from a boat.

Authorities did not immediately say why the search for West was broken off or if it would be resumed. But the suspension came around the time the National Weather Service had issued a flash flood watch for the area.

The accident occurred just hours after officials had issued a warning that the river had crested several feet above normal due to heavy rains upstream.

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