On April 13, 2023, two anglers were fishing on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania when they experienced motor issues. Before they could get the boat running again their boat went over the Dock Street Dam. The low-head dam capsized the boat and the men were catapulted into the water. One angler was rescued by a nearby boat that saw it happen and risked their own lives to get a float and tow line out to him and then back the boat out of troubled waters to pull him in.
The boat operator, Michael Brook, 64, of Waynesboro perished in the accident. His body was found downstream along with other items from the boat. While both men were wearing their life jackets at the time of the issue and accident, Brook’s body was found without his life jacket still on. Low-head damns are often referred to as “drowning machines” because the water flows over them but then creates a recycling water funnel that continues to turn over on itself. So when you go into one, it’s extremely difficult to get out of it as it churns the water over and over.
Brook was said to be an avid angler and familiar with the Susquehanna River and a well-loved bartender in the Waynesboro community. “Mike loved everybody, and everybody loved him,” said John Allison Public House co-owner, J. Morgan. “He was very passionate about fishing, one of the things he absolutely loved.”
More about this tragic event can be found at the local NBC affiliate website.