New Jersey

Towering Waterspout Nearly Takes out New Jersey Family on Canoeing Trip

A family from New Jersey says a waterspout made a beeline for them as they rode a canoe in a marshy area, and changed direction just in the nick of time. 

Video taken by witnesses in DowneTownship shows the water spout twisting on Sunday afternoon. 

While others videoed the waterspout from afar, Roxanne Yates, her 7-year-old daughter, Jaidyn, and Roxanne’s boyfriend, Adam Sweeney, were in utter shock when they found themselves directly in its path.

The trio kicked off the afternoon Sunday in a canoe. 

"What do you think — your first canoe trip," Roxanne says to her daughter in a video. "I'm excited!" Jaidyn replies. 

The three of them were doing some crabbing in the creeks near the Delaware Bay when the waterspout began barreling their way.

“It was straight towards us,” Roxanne said. “It was intensely loud.”

“You can see the water spinning, you can see the debris that’s picking up, spinning,” Sweeney said. “They’re panicking, I’m kind of panicking.”

“I started crying because it got really, really close,” Jaidyn said. “I curled up in a little, tiny ball.”

The funnel cloud came within 20 feet of their boat, which they had pulled up out of the water. 

“The only think I knew to do was to just jump on top of [Jaidyn] and make sure nothing happened,” Roxanne said.

The three of them say that at the very last minute, the waterspout took a sharp right turn and missed them

During their panic, Roxanne called 911 dispatchers, who helped guide rescuers to their location in the marsh — the tide was too low after the waterspout passed for them to paddle back on their own.

“As soon as they got there, it was just a rush of relief for all three of us,” Roxanne said.

The three of them were wet, muddy and shaken, but otherwise okay.

“It was a hell of an ordeal,” Sweeney said.

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