2 killed in aftermath of storm Woman dies while sailing

boy drowns during swim

July 21, 1996|By Brenda J. Buote and S. Mitra Kalita | Brenda J. Buote and S. Mitra Kalita,SUN STAFF

An elderly Edgewater woman died yesterday after the boat she was sailing in capsized near Annapolis, and a 7-year-old boy drowned at Sandy Point State Park, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources police.

Ellen M. Bealle, 83, of Midland Road in Edgewater was sailing on the South River with her daughter, Linda M. Bealle, when their 16-foot boat capsized about 2 p.m.

Bealle went into cardiac arrest when the boat overturned and was taken to Anne Arundel General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, said Richard McIntire, spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources. Her daughter was not injured. They were not wearing life vests.

Investigators concluded that the boat upended when a strong gust of wind caught the sail, McIntire said. A small craft advisory, issued by the National Weather Service, was in effect yesterday for the Atlantic coast.

"There were heavy wind gusts in the early part of the day," McIntire said, "so even though it was sunny, the waters were probably rougher than normal."

DNR police identified the child who died at Sandy Point State Park -- which is at the foot of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge's western terminus, outside of Annapolis -- as Rasheede Smith of Washington. No street address was available. The boy was swimming with his four older brothers, ranging in age from 9 to 16, when he drowned.

"The boys were out swimming and decided to come in from the beach when one of older brothers noticed he was missing," McIntire said. "At that point, a chain search was initiated" where people locked their arms together and walked through the water, looking for the missing child.

Investigators said rough waters were also to blame for the plight of 30 inner-tube riders stranded in the Potomac River at about 12: 40 p.m.

Ten people, including a 7-year-old boy, were rescued from rocks in the river -- about 100 yards from shore -- said George Frye, rescue chief for the Brunswick volunteer ambulance company. Twenty people were also rescued about 15 feet from the shoreline, just south of Sandy Hook.

The river was high for this time of year, Frye said, "but the depth of the water wasn't the problem. They couldn't get back to shore because the river was moving rapidly due to the heavy rains Friday."

All of the riders were wearing life jackets, Frye said.

On Friday, Albert Supik of Bel Air and Frank Gigliotti of Phoenix spent nearly an hour in the Atlantic Ocean after the fishing boat they and two companions were riding in capsized about 35 miles off the Outer Banks of North Carolina. They were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter and arrived home safely yesterday.

Pub Date: 7/21/96

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