Father drowns while saving his 3 kids from river

His body was recovered by a dive team more than three hours after he vanished.

August 3, 2023, 3:58 AM

A 42-year-old father has drowned while saving the lives of his three children from suffering the same fate.

The Franklin Township Police Department in New Jersey received a call on Wednesday afternoon at approximately 2:13 p.m. to reports of a man struggling to stay afloat in the Millstone River while his three children stood on the shore.

When officers responded to the scene they found three children -- aged 13, 11 and 8-years-old -- out of the water while their father, a 42-year-old unnamed South River resident, was unable to be located in the river, according to a statement released by the Franklin Township Police Department.

“According to witnesses, the children went into the water and quickly became distressed,” authorities said. “The victim went into the water to help, pulled his children to the shallow water, but struggled to maintain his balance.”

Responding officers subsequently entered the waterway to search for the missing father but rescue efforts to find him quickly were unsuccessful. His children were treated at the scene and released without further medical attention, police said.

The 42-year-old father’s body was recovered just over three hours later by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office dive team, authorities confirmed.

The man’s identity has not yet been released while authorities notify his next of kin and family members.

The investigation into the man’s drowning death is ongoing and factors that contributed to the incident are currently under investigation by the Franklin Township Police Department.