Delaware waterways: Tidal streams often hide danger beneath surface

State Geologist John Talley was quoted in the following paragraphs:

The danger Fullman faced isn't rare in Delaware, where strong bodies of water often intersect neighborhoods, yet currents and tides rarely factor into drownings, said John Talley, the state geologist and director of the Delaware Geological Survey. Tides for the Mispillion on Monday weren't abnormally high, Talley said.

And "stream flows have been very low," because of low rain fall in Kent and Sussex counties, he said.

Gregory Rhodes, state marine boater safety officer, said the factor bigger than current or tides on a normally flowing river -- and often the biggest factor with drownings -- is that the victim often cannot swim or has limited swimming abilities.

Milford police Tuesday said Deejion could not swim or had limited swimming abilities.

In most of Delaware, rivers become most dangerous after heavy rains or during snowmelts, Talley said.

In northern Delaware, stream flows are often influenced by rainfall in nearby Pennsylvania, Talley said.


By WADE MALCOLM, MOLLY MURRAY and DAN SHORTRIDGE • The News Journal • August 19, 2010

For questions and information, contact DGS at, 302-831-2833

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