Dimock man drowns in river

Emergency crews responded to a report of a drowning Sunday morning, and are stationed at the boat launch area of Riverside Park, just south of Tunkhannock. STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER


A 20-year-oldDimockTownshipman drowned in theSusquehanna Riverlate Sunday morning while swimming atRiversideParksouth of Tunkhannock.

Tunkhannock Borough Police Patrolman John Zdaniewicz said Hector Altamirino, 20, with a postal address listed of 11799 SR3001, Montrose, and other friends had gone to the park earlier in the day to enjoy the outdoors.

Altamirino and a male friend, also in his 20s, decided they would swim the width of the river to the south bank, estimated to be a distance of about 500 feet.

Upon reaching the middle of the river, Altamirino shouted for help- witnesses told police – and then submerged.

Attempts by the friend to rescue him met with negative results.

Mike Markovitz, dive rescue team captain and assistant chief of Tunkhannock Community Ambulance said a call went out at 10:50 a.m. and the body was located in about 12 foot deep water about an hour and 10 minutes later.

Chief Deputy Coroner Eric Kukuchka pronounced Altamirino dead at the scene at noon. He said the cause of death was asphyxia due to fresh water downing.

Kukuchka said Altamirino was in the area from Mexico, but it was unclear what brought him there.

Altamirino’s body was about 200 feet shy of the south bank, Markovitz, who discovered the victim, said.

Zdaniewicz said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident and it is being classified as an accidental drowning.

Markovitz said a couple of dive team emergency responders were treated for heat exhaustion issues, and one was taken to Tyler Memorial Hospital and later released.

Dive rescue teams from Lake Winola, Germania, Scott Township and the Luzerne County Sheriff’s Department were called for backup, but were not needed.

Assists were also provided by Lake Winola Ambulance- which answered a call for Tunkhannock Community Ambulance while it was on scene at Riverside Park.

Triton Fire, Community Life Support, Meshoppen Ambulance and the Red Cross also assisted at the scene.