The body of a 21-year-old man who drowned after falling off a sailboat near Thomas Point was recovered Wednesday, according to Maryland Natural Resources Police.
Sebastian Buelvas, of Silver Spring, was found deceased around noon Wednesday. Buelvas fell into the Chesapeake Bay around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday while attempting to get into a kayak being pulled behind a 19-foot sailboat he and two other men were recreationally sailing.
The men were not wearing life jackets, according to the Natural Resources Police. When Buelvas began to struggle in the water, the two men threw him a lifejacket and attempted to rescue him from the water by climbing into the kayak, causing it to capsize. Buelvas went under the water and never resurfaced.
The other two men thrown into the water were rescued by nearby boaters, who called for help through radio channel VHF Channel 16.
State and county agencies began searching for Buelvas soon after the incident. By 6 p.m., the rescue mission turned into a recovery mission and paused around 9:30 p.m. The search continued Wednesday morning and Buelvas was located.
A spokesperson from the Natural Resources Police urged sailors and boaters to wear life jackets, as putting one on while struggling to swim can be difficult.
“Things can happen in a split second,” said spokesperson Lauren Moses.
Dive and marina teams from Anne Arundel County and Annapolis fire departments assisted the Natural Resources Police and U.S. Coast Guard during the search for the missing sailor. The Coast Guard searched the water by boat and by helicopter Tuesday night.
Natural Resources Police recorded seven deadly boating incidents in 2020. In all seven cases, no life jacket was worn. The department did not immediately provide updated statistics for fatal boating incidents in 2021.