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Scuba Diver Dies at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area


A scuba diver died while diving in the Delaware River near Dingmans Ferry Bridge in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Photo via

National Park Service investigators are trying to determine what caused the death of a 26-year-old New York man scuba diving with friends at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

NRA officials say John Osterhoudt, 26, of Wappingers Falls, New York, died Saturday after diving in the Delaware River at Dingmans Ferry Access.

Mr. Osterhoudt was one of four people diving near the Dingmans Ferry Bridge where the water depth is about 14 feet, a park release said. Two of the divers were instructors,
and two, including the victim and his wife, were students. One of the instructors signaled the students to surface; the Osterhoudts acknowledged and began a normal ascent. Due to the current, the group became separated as they were ascending, however, the release said.

Mr. Osterhoudt began swimming to shore; however, as the instructor swam towards him, he noticed that the student was face down in the water and unresponsive, the release said. The instructor initiated surface breathing while towing the man to shore, then immediately began CPR with the second dive instructor.

A National Park ranger responded and applied an AED, with no response. The ranger continued CPR until Delaware Township EMS arrived and took over. Mr. Osterhoudt was transported by ambulance to Bon Secours Hospital in Port Jervis, New York, where he was pronounced dead.


This is tragic. My heartfelt condolences to the family and all of those who were involved in this incident.

As a divemaster candidate, I am baffled and confused to know why regional scuba would take a student diver out on such a cold day when hypothermia is the biggest concern which could lead to a heart attack or his regulator (breathing device) freeze up. My condolences to the family for their loss.

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