Body of Easton Woman Found after Log Canoe Sailing Accident
The body of an Easton woman was pulled from the Corsica River Sunday, after she went missing from a log canoe while sailing Friday night.
Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) confirm the body recovered was that of 35-year-old Stephanie Meredith, from Easton.
Police say the 32-foot log canoe was practicing for a race with 17 people on board, when it capsized on a sharp turn in the area of the Chester and Corsica Rivers. Its chase boat quickly rescued 16 people, but Meredith remained missing. Police believe she became trapped under the boat.
Chesapeake Bay Magazine editor-at-large Wendy Mitman Clarke was out for a boat ride in the area Friday evening, admiring the historic boat under sail. She recalls, "Every now and then a puff would come along but it was no problem, they looked like they had her well in hand. We broke off at about 7:30 and headed into the Corsica, and as we went we noticed the breeze there was a little puffier and stronger. Didn't think much about it though, typical early evening breeze making up a little. She must have capsized just 15 or 20 minutes later."
NRP, the Coast Guard, a Maryland State Police helicopter, and first responders from Kent and Queen Anne's Counties all searched for Meredith throughout the weekend, with the search focused on the Corsica River, near Conquest Beach.
Sunday morning, Meredith's body was recovered. She was not wearing a life jacket, according to police. Her death marks the 12th boating fatality in 2018, compared to nine in all of 2017.
The boat Meredith was sailing on is the historic log canoe Mystery, built in Oxford, Maryland in 1932. Mystery, based in Chestertown, is one of Maryland's National Register Properties, and is noted for her 70-foot foremast, believed to be the largest used in a canoe under 35 feet long.