Catherine Hartman, a well-known sailor in the Annapolis marine community, died Sunday morning as she and a crew of three neared the end of a passage delivering a 47-foot sloop from Florida to Annapolis.
Maryland Natural Resources Police were called to the boat, Dancer, which was sailing about 2 1/2 miles off Cedar Point shortly before 11 a.m. They found Hartman, 35, in full cardiac arrest and took her to Patuxent Naval Air Station Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
DNR spokesman Rob Gould said three crew members performed CPR on her, as did the Natural Resources officers. The cause of death was unknown pending an autopsy, he added.
William Steitz, the boat's owner, said crew members told him Hartman had gone below decks to take ashower Sunday morning. When she failed to return in a reasonable amount of time, shipmates went looking for her and discovered her unconscious.
"We're not sure what happened," Steitz said.
Nancy Noyes, the Anne Arundel County Sun's sailing columnist, said Hartman was "very well known, very popular" in the Annapolis sailing community.
Hartman began sailing boats as a child. Her family has been in the marine business for years. Her father, Edward C. Hartman, owns the Annapolis Water Taxi, Chesapeake Marine Tours,and has interests in othermarine businesses.
She first sailed with Steitz four years ago, handling foredeck duties on an earlier version of Dancer during Block Island Race Week. Last June, she became the full-time manager of Steitz's new boat.