The white center console on the right was found against the bulkhead with no one aboard, prompting a search. Photo: Charlestown Fire Company

Missing Boater’s Body Recovered on North East River

A Delaware man’s body has been recovered from the North East River by search crews after his unmanned boat was found, still running, on Sunday.

27-year-old David Rambo, from Wilmington, Delaware, was last seen alive around 11 p.m. Saturday near the mouth of North East Creek. He was wearing jeans and a maroon sweatshirt.

Search crews worked on Sunday to recover the missing boater. Photo: Charlestown Fire Company

A homeowner discovered his 21-foot Pro Line Sport center console with no one aboard, against a bulkhead near Anchor Marina on the North East River. The boat had its engine running and a cell phone was found on board. Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) reported the unmanned boat to the Coast Guard, who responded along with NRP and several rescue crews.

Natural Resources Police said Rambo had been at the Nauti Goose restaurant earlier in the evening. He had fishing gear aboard the boat. The Coast Guard said he was reported to be fishing near the mouth of North East Creek.

The water was around 59-60 degrees at the time, responding rescue crews tell Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Rambo was not wearing a life jacket or any survival/immersion gear that night.

A search for Rambo was launched that included Natural Resources Police boats and a Coast Guard helicopter along with rescue boats from the Charlestown Fire Company, Susquehanna Hose Company, multiple dive teams, and a Maryland State Police helicopter.

By Sunday afternoon divers from NRP and Maryland State Police had located Rambo’s body in the North East River near Anchor Marina. Rambo’s family has been notified. The case is still under investigation.

NRP reminds all boaters that water temperatures throughout the Bay are still dangerous despite the air temperature getting warmer. Immersion in water between 50 and 60 degrees, like that of the North East River, can cause people to experience “cold shock,” police tell us, “leading to loss of breathing control, gasping, and hyperventilating. Clear thinking in these situations becomes almost impossible,” says NRP spokesman Hunter Dortenzo.

Even water temperatures higher than 60 degrees can cause hypothermia over a long enough time frame, especially for someone not wearing a life jacket. Dortenzo says PFDs are critically important in a cold water immersion situation.