Father, son drown in Wissahickon Creek

News September 9, 2013 2 Comments

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.

Want to support the Local? Join the Chestnut Hill Community Association. Membership helps fund what we do. Join today.

  • GC

    very sad of course but always amazing in our area how people drown in water that is as safe as a bathtub. local papers for some odd reason never report whether the unfortunate person who died knew how to swim or not; they make it seem is though all the rivers and pools here are as dangerous as raging torrents when in fact they are all very safe to swim in, except during flooding, and swimming in nature as public policy should be encouraged…if one knows how to swim.

  • Amy

    How awful for the family and the children who witnessed there father and sibling drowning. Are there any signs along the creek warning that swimming is illegal? I did not know that it was considered to be so dangerous and the fact that 95% of that water is contaminated is just plain disgusting. People fish there all of the time! How about some signs!