Woman falls from boat, is presumed dead Alcohol might have been a factor, official says

September 20, 1996|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

The Coast Guard and Maryland Natural Resources Police searched yesterday for a 37-year-old Grasonville woman who was presumed drowned after she fell from a powerboat into the Chesapeake Bay near Greenbury Point.

The woman, whose name was not released, fell overboard Wednesday night as the boat cruised south from Whitehall Creek toward the South River, said Richard McIntire, a spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources.

"Obviously, she is presumed drowned at this point," McIntire said late yesterday afternoon.

The search, called off last night, will resume today, a Natural Resources Police spokesman said.

The woman was one of four people aboard the 38-foot powerboat operated by Stephen Howell, 33, of Annapolis. They reportedly were headed from Cantler's Riverside Inn to Fergie's Waterfront Restaurant, McIntire said.

McIntire said "alcohol may have been a factor in the incident" because the two couples had been at a bar. The investigation is continuing, he said.

After the woman fell overboard, the two other passengers jumped into the water to search for her, but could not find her, McIntire said. The man and the woman, whose names were not available, were taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center for treatment of possible hypothermia and released, said McIntire.

The water temperature off Greenbury Point was about 70 degrees.

The search for the woman began after midnight, shortly after the 911 call for help was received, said McIntire. The Coast Guard, Maryland Natural Resources Police and Anne Arundel County fire and rescue boats responded, and a state police helicopter conducted a search. The search covered eight square miles at the mouth of the Severn River, from Tolly Point north to Hackett Point and all tributaries, said McIntire.

Pub Date: 9/20/96

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