Tubing safety procedures revisited after tragic death of Ellington teen

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NEW HARTFORD --  A deadly accident involving an Ellington teen who was riding a tube in upstate New York is shining a light on tubing safety procedures as the summer winds down.

Jordyn Engler, 14, died in a tubing accident on Saturday. She was with her father Jeff, who was injured in the accident.

At Farmington River Tubing in New Hartford--which was packed for Labor Day with tubers--employees give a safety briefing to all customers before they hit the river and rapids.

"Number one, of course, is a life-jacket,” manager Jeremy Harraden said.

During the briefing, customers are told not to stand up in rapids if they fall off their tube. Standing could get their feet stuck in rocks, debris or branches.

"When you get your feet stuck in the water, the force of the water basically pushes you over and you fall and you're pinned under the water,” Harraden said.

Jordyn Engler

Jordyn Engler

When first responders found Jordyn Engler's body, it was stuck under water below branches and debris.

Rob Ricobbon, the head coach and ower of WHAT Swimming,  says one of the easiest ways to stay safe in the water is know the terrain.

"Make sure you know where you're going. Make sure you're in a supervised recreational area which has been cleared of debris, that you know the currents, that maybe there's a lifeguard on duty,” Riccobon said.

Around 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Engler and her father were tubing in Esopus Creek in Shandaken, New York, when the accident happened, according to officials from Ulster County Sheriff. Police and rescue personnel responded and rescued her father, and later discovered the teen's body.

A call for two people in distress in the water came into the sheriff's office around 11:15 a.m. Dive teams had to wait until water flow from a nearby reservoir was turned off and the water level lowered before they could recover Engler's body.

The high school student was a singer and cheerleader on the Manchester-based All Stars Cheerleading team.

"Prayers for the Engler family," superintendent Scott Nicol said. Grief counselors were at the school on Sunday, and more will be available when school is back in session Tuesday.