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Man drowns after falling into Susquehanna Saturday

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One of two man found in the Susquehanna River off Havre de Grace early Saturday evening drowned, Havre de Grace Police confirmed Tuesday.

John Duncan, 58, of no fixed address, was pronounced dead at the scene after an unidentified witness heard someone yelling for help at about 4:58 p.m. Saturday near Price's Seafood, Havre de Grace police spokesman Officer Jeff Gilpin said Tuesday.

The same person found the second man, identified as 44-year-old Guy McGee of Elkton, holding Mr. Duncan, Gilpin said.

Gilpin said McGee told first responders they were "sitting there, hanging out near the water," when Mr. Duncan somehow fell in.

"Alcohol may have been a factor" in the incident, Gilpin said.

Both men were transported to nearby Harford Memorial Hospital.

The water temperature was about 39 degrees at the time, he said.

The attempted rescuer was sent to be evaluated but was fine, Gilpin said.

The two men somehow ended up in the water and were "calling for help," Susquehanna Hose Company of Havre de Grace Chief Scott Hurst said Sunday.

A monitored Harford County emergency radio broadcast put out a call for a water rescue near the Amtrak bridge at 5:04 p.m. Within two minutes, the radio reported that "two people" were out of the water.

By the time first responders had arrived, one of the men had already gotten out of the water, Hurst said. Havre de Grace police offers were at the scene when Susquehanna Hose rescuers arrived, he said.

Hurst noted there was a 6-foot drop-off in the area where the men were found.

Hurst also commended Havre de Grace police for their quick response.

During Tuesday's council meeting, City Councilwoman Barbara Wagner extended her condolences to Mr. Duncan's family and friends.

She said she has known him for 4 1/2 years, and he would come looking for odd jobs and she would help him with housing and other needs.

"Our good friend John lost his life after being rescued from the river this weekend," she said. "If any of you know John, he was kind, gentle and he struggled with alcoholism and subsequent homelessness."

Although Wagner said she and her husband tried to help him, "he always struggled."

She thanked the rescue crews and said: "Keep him and his family in your prayers."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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