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Fisherman tried to save missing swimmer in the Poconos

Frank Amendolare was fishing on his boat when he jumped in and tried to save 23-year-old Christopher Schofield who got swept up in the river's current.

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — Frank Amendolare of Barrett Township, looks at the Delaware River, remembering the moment he realized something was wrong while fishing the river with his son. 

"We were watching the sun go down and he just he looks at me and he says dad this is great you know, it's like, just what we needed.," Amendolare said. "30 seconds later all hell broke loose."

Amendolare says while he was in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Tuesday night, he noticed a family who came down to the river. 

He saw people jump into the water. 

When he realized that one of the young men was struggling, he jumped from his boat to try to rescue him, but it was too late. 

"That kid got sucked under the water like a shark actually took him under," Amendolare said. "Once it took him under there were just screams coming from everywhere. The family, my son, and I still tried to get him before he hit the rapids."

The National Park Service has identified the missing swimmer as 23-year-old Christopher Schofield of Stroudsburg. 

Schofield and the other swimmers were not wearing life jackets. 

Amendolare says the river current was strong that day, "This body of water is serious you know, I felt the pressure myself and I'm a strong swimmer at 50 years old."

The fisherman says his heart goes out to the family and those final moments in the water haunt him. 

"I just wanna let the family know that I gave it my all and if I would have got ahold of you son, brother, nephew, family friend, a neighbor I wouldn't of let go of him, Amendolare said. 

He says he doesn't plan to fish in that spot anymore. 

Search crews plan to be back on the water this weekend.

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