Missing boater in Delaware River ID'd, search called off

CROYDON, Pa. - April 19, 2014

The missing boater has been identified as 49-year-old John Poltonowicz of Bristol, Pa.

According to witnesses, it was just after 1:00 p.m. Friday when a boat hit a wake behind a tugboat, flipping Poltonowicz out of the craft and into the water near 4th Avenue.

Chopper 6 arrived to find the boat spinning in circles, with no one onboard. Round and round the small speedboat went, spinning in circles until it ran out of gas.

Poltonowicz was not wearing a lifejacket.

Jeff Wolf says he was there, telling us, "The tugboat went by, he cut over to go behind the tugboat to jump the wake and he just flew out. When the boat came up in the air it nosedived and he went over the windshield."

Action News asked if he could see the man after he went in, to which Wolf said, "Yes... I couldn't really tell because he was out there far. He was just kind of floating. I noticed there was a lifejacket behind him. And I guess he went about a hundred yards and then we lost sight of him."

The Coast Guard and agencies in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey picked up their efforts on Saturday morning before calling off the search in the late afternoon.

There is still no sign of Poltonowicz.

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