Chester River Man Overboard is 3rd Death on the Bay This Week

The Coast Guard has recovered the body of a man who fell overboard from a cabin cruiser on the Chester River Tuesday.

USCG says the 69-year-old man slipped and fell off the 42-foot boat near Piney Point. Two other people on the boat called 911, and said they were not able to maneuver the boat to help him in the water.

A Coast Guard boat crew and helicopter searched alongside Maryland State Police, Maryland Natural Resources Police, and the Queen Anne’s County Fire Department. Ultimately the air crew spotted the man’s body just before 1 p.m. Tuesday, and boat crews recovered it.

His death comes just two days after a pair of brothers also died in the water. Their small boat capsized on the upper Potomac River. Bay Bulletin has details of that tragedy here. In both cases, authorities pointed out that life jackets are especially crucial this time of year, when the weather can be nice for boating, but the water is still dangerously cold.

“Cold waters are still present in the bay even though the air temperatures are warm,” said Lt. Justin Valentino, the USCG command duty officer directing Tuesday’s search. “We always recommend that boaters wear their life jackets, even if they’re confident in their abilities and skills.

Valentino points out that not only do lie jackets provide flotation, they can help insulate your body from the cold and make you more visible to search and rescue crews.

In a separate incident on April 4, a worker on a boat-detailing crew was presumed drowned after he tried to chase down a floating work platform on the Severn River.

-Meg Walburn Viviano