Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) say they’ve located the body of a 21-year-old man who fell overboard from a sailboat off Thomas Point Tuesday afternoon.
Police tell Bay Bulletin that Sebastian Buelvas, 21, was on a 19.5-foot sailboat with two friends, towing a kayak behind the boat. Buelvas tried to climb into the kayak from the sailboat while underway, and fell into the water. The two friends tell police they tossed life jackets to him as he began to struggle in the water, then tried to rescue him using the kayak, but it capsized soon after.
The two were found clinging to the kayak by a good Samaritan, who saved them, but Buelvas didn’t resurface. The good Samaritan called for help on VHF Channel 16.
A search was launched Tuesday near the spot where Buelvas fell in, about a mile southeast of Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. The Coast Guard launched two boat crews and a helicopter to look for the missing man, along with crews from Natural Resources Police, Maryland State Police, and Anne Arundel County Fire Department.
NRP’s search resumed Wednesday morning, shifting efforts to a recovery mission, and the Coast Guard suspended its search at that point. Anne Arundel County Fire’s Special Operations Dive Team and the Special Operations Marine Operations Team from the Annapolis Fire Department Special Operations Dive and Marine Operations teams also searched the Bay.
NRP tells Bay Bulletin that Buelvas’s body was found Tuesday afternoon. His family has been notified.
Police say none of the three on the sailboat was wearing a life jacket when Buelvas went overboard.
Unfortunately, it’s a familiar theme. According to NRP, seven people died in Maryland boating accidents in 2020 and of those seven, six were not wearing life jackets.
–Meg Walburn Viviano