Man rescued after motorboat sinks Search for friends led to accident

October 21, 1991

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a Baltimore man whose boat foundered while he searched the mouth of the Gunpowder River Saturday night for two friends who also were boating.

Edward Sentz, 31, had spent nearly three hours in the 62-degree water late Saturday after gusty winds and two-foot waves overwhelmed his motorboat, Petty Officer John Lowery said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sentz's friends, who also had been in a motorboat, weathered the storm at a private dock, Petty Officer Lowery said.

Mr. Sentz, of Sylvan Avenue in Baltimore, was treated at Franklin Square Hospital Center and released yesterday.

"He was actually very lucky," said Chief Quartermaster Jeff Royer, who led the search. "It's real hard to find somebody sitting in the water in the dark."

Mr. Sentz contacted the Coast Guard at 7:50 p.m. Saturday because he was worried about his friends, Keith Bowers, 30, and Larry O'Donnell, 14 -- both of Baltimore. Mr. Sentz had made it to shore after three times bailing out his 14-foot open motorboat, but insisted on going out again to look for his friends against the advice of the Coast Guard, Petty Officer Lowery said.

At the time, winds were gusting up to 20 knots and the temperature was 48 degrees. A small-craft advisory was posted earlier in the day.

A state police helicopter spotted Mr. Sentz's two friends, their boat moored at a private dock in the mouth of the river, at 8:30 p.m., Petty Officer Lowery said.

But it was 11:15 p.m. before they found Mr. Sentz floating in his life jacket, his boat sunk, officials said.

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