Department of Natural Resoruces Police started a third day's search early Thursday for a 52-year-old boater missing and presumed dead in Middle River creek.

As divers stopped searching Wednesday, another body was located in the Chester River across the Chesapeake Bay, according to DNR police.

The first person was separated from his boat in the Frog Mortar Creek Tuesday afternoon, said Sgt. Brian Albert, a DNR Police spokesman.

Neither the man nor the body had been identified as of Thursday morning.

The man entered the water near Martin State Airport in the Bowleys Quarters area of Baltimore County after two women had become separated from the boat he was on, emergency responders said. The two women were pulled from the water by bystanders, but the man went missing.

An operation to rescue him began about 4 p.m. Tuesday. It was turned into a recovery operation about 5:30 p.m., concluded about 8:15 p.m., and resumed Wednesday, officials said.

Throughout the day, recovery crews using side-scan sonar searched the area for the man, but did not find him, Albert said.

Just as the operation was wrapping up about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, word came in that DNR personnel had recovered the body of an unknown adult male in the Chester River near Chestertown, Albert said.

There had not been an active search there.

"Someone called it in," Albert said of the body. "We had no information of him missing."

The body has been taken to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy, Albert said.

Chestertown is a significant distance from Middle River, and it is not believed the body found there is that of the boater missing in Middle River.

Albert said there are tides in the water where the boater went missing in Middle River, but drowning victims' bodies generally sink and stay in the general vicinity of where the drowning occurred for some time. A body only moves with the tide after gases in it build up and it rises to the surface, he said.

Of the search for the boater in Middle River, which has also involved personnel from the Baltimore County Fire Department, Albert said, "We'll be out there every day until a recovery is made."

krector@baltsun.com

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