Fisherman drowns in Chambers Lake
Man fell into the lake while fishing from a boat
WEST CALN >> A day of fishing on Chambers Lake at Hibernia Park appears to have turned into a tragedy after a fisherman fell into the lake Thursday morning at about 11 a.m.
Mike Florian of West Brandywine was one of a number of fishermen onshore near the public boat ramp who saw events unfold.
“He was in a 8-foot plastic formed boat,” Florian said as he watched rescuers search for the missing fisherman. He described the man as being in his 60s.
“He couldn’t put the boat in right,” Florian said. “He didn’t shove off smoothly. He was 30 minutes on shore and 15 minutes on the water trying to engage his motor.”
Florian said after he launched he went to fish on the shore.
“I heard him yell, ‘ahh s—,’ and that was it,” Florian said.
Florian said he yelled to kayakers in the area to go to the man’s aid.
They reached the boat but did not see the man in the water.
Boats from the Chester County Park Rangers, Friendship Fire Company Diving-Rescue Unit, and Wagontown Fire Company were dispatched and searched for the missing man in the area where the man was last seen, but after an hour a request was made for a dive team as the search became a recovery.
Florian commiserated with fellow fisherman Roger Bruce of Philadelphia, who also saw events unfold.
Both men described the fisherman as unsure on the water. Neither man saw the fisherman wearing a life preserver.
Eventually kayakers moved the boat to shore as rescue crews conducted a land search to be certain the man hadn’t come ashore unseen.
Downingtown and Lionville fire company boats also responded to assist with the recovery.
As of 5 p.m. Thursday, authorities were still searching the lake for the drowning victim.
Chester County Park Rangers search for a missing fisherman on Chambers Lake at Hibernia Park on Thursday. Multiple witnesses saw the man fall in the water from the orange boat and never return to the surface.
A Chester County Park Ranger relays information from a witness to rescuers searching for a missing fisherman on Chambers Lake at Hibernia Park on Thursday.
Chester County Park Rangers search for a missing fisherman on Chambers Lake at Hibernia Park. A kayaker pulled the orange boat to shore.