Dozens jailed in Harrisburg after island party, drowning

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Dozens of party-goers were jailed after a man drowned during an unauthorized, weekend-long bash on an island in the Susquehanna River.

The organizers -- who advertised the party through the Internet -- did not have a permit to hold the gathering on city-owned McCormick Island, authorities said.

Christian Yanez, 27, of Harrisburg, left a city tavern with a friend after learning of the bash and drowned trying to swim to the island, according to Harrisburg Mayor Stephen R. Reed.

The friend had a life preserver and threw it to Mr. Yanez when he started to struggle, but he apparently could not reach it or put it on, Mr. Reed said.

The 4 a.m. drowning investigation led police to the party, which was billed as the "Seventh Annual Island Camp-out w/the DJs."

Police used pontoon boats to ferry more than 200 people to court, where they were cited for violating park rules. Those from out-of-state were ordered to pay more than $1,000 in fines and costs each before they were released, and dozens were jailed, authorities said.



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