CROTON-ON-HUDSON – Croton police have released the identities of the five men whose blue rubber raft overturned last night on the Croton River.
Peter Engel, 53, from Cross River died after the accident. Police found Engel floating down the river around 6:30 p.m. He was unresponsive when rescuers pulled him aboard and began CPR. Engel was taken to Phelps Memorial Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Joseph Ceglia, 33, of White Plains was the first rafter to be found about 6 p.m. Ceglia was clinging to a tree near a section of the River known as Mayo's Landing, where he was able to be rescued.
Kenneth Giaquinto, 37, of Valhalla was able to get to shore on the Ossining side of the river, where he flagged a passing motorist around 6 p.m. and called police.
Michael Wolfert, 37, of Yorktown Heights was able to get to shore near 91 Truesdale Drive in Croton. Police found him around 6:15 p.m.
Brian Dooley, 33, of Yorktown Heights was found clinging to a tree in extreme rapids about 7:30 p.m. by two Croton residents in an area just south of Silver Lake Park.
“This location was extremely dangerous due to the extensive rapids and steep slopes of the shoreline, making it very hazardous to effect a rescue operation, which was being conducted with the assistance of Westchester County ESU with aviation support for lighting and search,” Lieutenant Russell Harper said.
Dooley was rescued around 8:45 p.m. when he broke free from the tree and floated downstream to an area known as Dickey's Cliffs. Dooley was taken to Westchester County Medical Center and treated for extreme exposure and hypothermia.
Harper said interviews with the survivors indicate that they entered the Croton River at the foot of the Croton Dam in Croton Gorge Park, making their way down the extreme rapids and overturning south of Silver Lake Park.