Body found south of Annapolis identified as missing boater

25-year-old was tossed into Chesapeake Bay on Dec. 17 when sailboat capsized

(Submitted photo )
January 17, 2012|By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun

A 25-year-old boater missing for a month was found Monday when his body washed ashore near Annapolis, according to police.

At about 8 a.m., Maryland Natural Resources Police were called to the 2200 block of Chesapeake Harbor Drive, where they identified the body of Tyler Cordrey of Eden.

Cordrey had been missing since Dec. 17, when a sailboat he was riding in with two others capsized near the Sandy Point lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay.

"We knew Tyler had not made it," his father, Keith Cordrey, also of Eden, said Tuesday morning. "We believe and trust that Tyler is in heaven."

Daniel DeNike, 46, the boat's owner, and Taylor Rogers, 25, Cordrey's girlfriend of eight years, both of Laurel, were also tossed in the bay. They were taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center, where DeNike died. Rogers was treated for hypothermia and released. Cordrey's dog, Roscoe, was also lost in the accident.

On the day of the accident, authorities had put out a "small craft advisory" warning boats of wind gusts between 15 and 20 mph, according to Sgt. Art A. Windemuth, a police spokesman. DeNike had asked Cordrey and Rogers to accompany him on his boat, in part because they were more experienced sailors than DeNike, Windemuth said.

One of the wind gusts started to lift up DeNike's boat, and DeNike made a critical error, according to Windemuth. Instead of letting out the sail, he tightened it, causing the boat to capsize, according to police.

"He was an inexperienced sailor," Windemuth said.

No one inside the vessel was wearing a life jacket, and the three friends scrambled to put them on in the water, Windemuth said.

"Even into the spring, water temperatures are cold," the police spokesman said, emphasizing the importance of wearing a survival suit for cold weather. "Cold water immersions can be deadly."

The boat, an 18-foot Precision sailboat, was found in 40 feet of water.

DeNike and Cordrey worked together at Mars Labs in Laurel, where DeNike was a quality control manager and Cordrey a computer programmer. The two men sat next to each other and became friends, because they were two of the more extroverted members of the office, said company president Ernie Falcone.

Cordrey brought Roscoe to work with him every day, Falcone said.

"Mars Labs has 10 employees," Falcone said. "It was a huge impact technically for the company, but also emotionally. You've got this friendly environment and you're sitting near them every day and they're gone. Everybody was devastated. I don't use that word lightly."

Cordrey was a dedicated wrestler as a young boy and graduated from J.M. Bennett High School in Salisbury. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, his father said. He spent "endless hours" wakeboarding and sailing, according to his dad.

He and his brother, Nathan, 23, had recently sailed to Cape Charles in Virginia and back, spending an entire week on Tyler's 22-foot boat.

"They were more like best friends than brothers," Keith Cordrey said. "Tyler had a way of making you want to be with him. It didn't matter if you were 40, if you were 60 or if you were 20, he was your friend."

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