A 25-year-old New Jersey man's body has been recovered from a deep pool at the base of a waterfall at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which has seen unusually high stream levels in the wake of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
It was unclear whether Alexander Morros, of Long Valley, was swimming in Van Campens Brook when he vanished on Sunday, or whether he fell from a rocky face along the creek and into its waters, park officials said.
"Mr. Morros was hiking and swimming with two friends on Sunday afternoon at Van Campens Glen. He was last seen by his friends climbing on the rock face along the side of the creek," said Ranger Kathleen Sandt. "Van Campens Brook runs through a beautiful, steep-sided hemlock ravine. His friends turned away for a minute and when they turned back, he was gone. It is unclear whether he jumped or fell from the rocks."
The man's body was recovered from a pool at the base of the creek's upper falls, she said, adding that the pool was 18-22 feet deep.
"Water levels have been high and the current has been swift since Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee swept through our area, making dive operations unsafe," she said today. "Yesterday, the water had receded some and the current and conditions were more favorable and we were able to get a diver in the water with an underwater camera. Recovery was made at 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday. Cause of death has not yet been determined and is pending a coroner's investigation.
"The majority of them were related to jumping or cliff diving," according to the ranger. "One was severe enough to require Medivac. There were no fatalities in that period, but several searches and/or rescues occurred."