Missing Chester River boater feared dead

October 26, 2004

A Washington man was presumed dead yesterday after he fell from a boat in the Chester River early Sunday morning, police said.

About 3:20 a.m., John Eric Gaither, 41, fell into the water near the Castle Marina in Queen Anne's County, said Cpl. Ken Turner, a spokesman for the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

Turner said firefighters, Department of Natural Resources officers, state police and members of the Coast Guard searched for Gaither for about 12 hours before turning their mission into a recovery operation. As of late yesterday afternoon, Gaither's body had not been found.

An investigation is continuing.

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