2 dead after boat capsizes

Family members drown in Prettyboy Reservoir

1 man survives, 1 is missing

Search to continue today in Baltimore County

July 09, 2004|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

Two men died and a third was missing and presumed drowned last night as a family fishing outing on Prettyboy Reservoir in northern Baltimore County ended in tragedy when their boat capsized, authorities said.

A fourth man survived, swimming to shore after he was unable to save the others, according to a county Fire Department spokesman.

The men had been drinking, and while one man was steering the boat another was rocking it back and forth when it capsized, plunging all four into the water, said Capt. Glenn Blackwell, the Fire Department spokesman.

The boat sank in 25-foot-deep water, police said.

Blackwell said the four men were related. Their names were not released last night.

Authorities were alerted shortly after 8 p.m. through a 911 call from a woman reporting that a fishing boat had overturned in the reservoir, and that its occupants were in the water near the intersection of Spooks Hill and Kidds Schoolhouse roads, Blackwell said.

Rescue units from several area fire and police departments responded, including a state police helicopter from Andrews Air Force Base.

Blackwell said none of the men was wearing a flotation device.

County police said the survivor told authorities before he was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Hanover, Pa., that he had tried to save his relatives but couldn't reach them.

His condition was unknown last night.

The helicopter arrived several minutes before rescuers on the ground, and its crew had about 20 minutes of daylight in which to safely operate, Blackwell said.

Two members of the county Fire Department's Advanced Tactical Rescue Team were flown over the site of the sunken boat and dropped into the water, he said.

They quickly recovered the two victims, who were taken to shore by boat and pronounced dead after efforts to revive them, Blackwell said.

Autopsies were to be performed today by the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore, he said.

Blackwell said the search for the fourth man was called off at 11:30 p.m. and was to resume at sunrise.

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