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Another Victim Drowns in New Jersey's "Bermuda Triangle"

The Round Valley Reservoir in Clinton, New Jersey, has claimed another drowning victim. The body of Kenneth Rohatyn, 56, was recovered 70 feet below the surface of the water. He was not wearing his life vest.

The spot is known as the "Bermuda Triangle of New Jersey" and dozens of drownings have occurred there since 1972. At least six of the bodies have never been recovered, and a fishing hook recently snared a skeletal human foot.

The 2000 acre reservoir is stocked with trout, bass, and eel, some of which have grown to record size, making it a popular fishing spot. The waters cover the site of former homesteads and the lands of the Lenape Native American tribe.

Many of the accidents happened because boaters went out in craft that were too small. Boats smaller than 14 feet are at risk of capsizing in the winds that can reach 40 miles per hour and are often strongest between 10 and 11 in the morning. Strobe lights flash from the shore to warn boaters when conditions have become dangerous.

It's also just as important for boaters to wear (not just bring) floatation devices as it is for car drivers to wear seat-belts.

Fatal boating accidents are more common when the weather is cold. Nationwide, four times as many boating accidents are fatal when the water is 39 degrees or colder. In New Jersey in 2011, 20% of cold-water boating accidents were fatal, versus only 4% of warm-water accidents.

When boaters fall overboard into cold water, they involuntarily gasp, potentially inhaling water. Hyperthermia and cramps are also increased risks when the weather is cold.

The temperature in the deepest parts of the reservoir can be as cold as 50 degrees, which can put a person into shock in less than 30 seconds.

The cold waters of the reservoir also prevent bodies from being recovered. The cold inhibits the decomposition that causes the build-up of gases that make a body rise to the surface. Some bodies may be tangled up in dead trees at the bottom of the 180-foot deep lake.

Authorities even searched the lake with a submarine in 2006, but to no avail.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a boating accident or any other kind of vehicle accident in New Jersey, contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Greenberg, Walden & Grossman, LLC.

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