Former Newtown Square Woman Learns Important Lessons on 2019 Near-Fatal Rafting Trip

Image via Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer, Philadelphia Inquirer

Erin McCarthy, 24, didn’t think she was going to die until a 2019 summer rafting trip on the Susquehanna River left her trapped underwater, she writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

McCarthy, from Newtown Square, was on the river with her boyfriend, his family, and friends.

They had tied their rafts together. The current picked up and her raft struck a bridge pillar. She plunged underwater and tried to swim to the surface but one of the ropes caught on the pillar and wrapped around her left ring finger.

Only a fellow traveler and his raft were keeping her head above water.

After 20 minutes, she was saved by people in their group.

One friend, Mike Marciante, ran a half-mile to grab a knife. Another, Erik Schwab, took the knife and cut the rope that could have killed her.

McCarthy lost her ring finger in the accident.

When she got out of the hospital, she thanked everyone, but the words felt inadequate.

“Until I die, hopefully as an old woman on dry land, I’ll wear a permanent reminder of how easily those 20 minutes could’ve ended differently. I’ll remember why they didn’t,” she wrote.

Read more about Erin McCarthy’s experience at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Editor’s Note: This post first appeared in DELCO Today on Sept. 26, 2019.

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