by Kevin Dicciani
On Friday Sept. 6, 41-year old Pete Luciano and his 13-year old son Jordan, of Hunting Park, drowned in the Wissahickon Creek.
According to a report by NBC Philadelphia, Luciano and his four children, including Jordan, spent the afternoon in the Wissahickon near an area known as “Devil’s Pool.”
Before 3 p.m., The Philadelphia Police Department say that Jordan voluntarily jumped in the water for a swim. In a matter of moments, he had disappeared below the surface of the water.
The boy’s father then jumped in to rescue his son, but he too never resurfaced. Luciano’s three other children watched before they ran to the Valley Green Inn for help.
The Philadelphia Police Marine Unit and firefighters arrived on the scene and tried to save the father and his son, but it was too late. They recovered their bodies around 4 p.m., and both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say the water where they drowned was more than 10 feet deep and had a powerful current.
Swimming in the Wissahickon is illegal. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health states that swimming is “not permitted due to risks of drowning, injury from submerged objects, strong currents, and other hazards.”
On top of those dangers, a study by The Conservation Fund found that in late summer of a dry year, as much as “95 percent of the water in the creek is treated sewage from the seven treatment plants upstream in Montgomery County.”
But still, on any given day in the summer you can find people swimming in the creek. And in “Devil’s Pool,” the notorious swimming hole, you might even see someone jump off the 60 feet high bridge into the water below.
NBC Philadelphia reports that 17 people have been rescued from the creek since 2010.
For more information and a video from NBC Philadelphia, click here.