Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Bad Weekend on the Water

A recovery search for the bodies of two anglers whose boat capsized Sunday on the Potomac River in Frederick County went into its second day, and a man drowned in Anne Arundel County Saturday after jumping from his boat to retrieve a hat, Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson said.
A hat?
The boater in Anne Arundel County, Joseph Vincent Rossi, 47, of Edgewater, had taken his family out on the Chesapeake Bay in a rented boat Saturday, and they were on their way home near Turkey Point when wind blew the hat into the water and he jumped in to retrieve it, Thomson said. He hadn't put the 25-foot boat in neutral, and his wife had no boating experience and couldn't stop it from moving away, Thomson said. A pair of good Samaritans were able to stop the boat, but efforts to rescue him were unsuccessful.
Two things, first, the wife (and kids if present) should have been shown the rudiments of operating the boat. I assume he didn't mean to jump in the water with the engine in gear. Second, the water temperature out there is about 60 F these days (at least in the Bay, but I would guess the Potomac near Frederick is similar if not colder), and getting in the water at all is problematic, let alone for something as trivial as a hat. I did jump in for a fishing rod once, in the middle of summer (water temperature about 80) with the boat at anchor. Saved the rod and reel, too.

And then this breaking story: Rescue crews are searching for one more remaining fisherman after a boat sank in the Potomac River Saturday evening.
Maryland Natural Resources Police crews received a mayday call around 5 p.m. Saturday in the Potomac River after a boat with four fishermen completely sank. Rescuers found one fisherman, who was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital for treatment.

Around 9:30 a.m. this morning, DNR said they recovered the bodies of two of the fishermen. The search is continuing for the remaining missing man.
Last evening, around 5 PM a cold front moved into our area, and winds spiked to 40 mph before settling down to a mere 30 or so. No fish is important enough to fish in that. Trust me, I've been there, and I know.
Overall, however, it's been a relatively good year on the water. From the first article.
All told, five people have died or are presumed dead in boating accidents on state waters this year. The other two, a pair of duck hunters, drowned on the Severn River in January.
. . .
Maryland also had five boating fatalities this time last year. The state ended the year with 21 deaths, a 20-year high. The state has averaged about 15 deaths per year in the last five years, according to Natural Resources Police data.

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