Magothy apparently claims 2 lives


Two people are believed to have drowned in the Magothy River in separate incidents yesterday -- one during a swimming accident and the other when a canoe capsized, authorities reported.

The first incident occurred about 2:05 p.m., when a man in his early 20s began having trouble while swimming in a channel between Cypress Creek and the Magothy, said Battalion Chief Gary Sheckells of the Anne Arundel County fire department.

Two teen-age girls on shore noticed the man and "they said he displayed panic and did not come back up," Chief Sheckells said.

The fire department was called in to search for the missing swimmer, with assistance from a state police helicopter equipped with heat-sensing equipment. A Baltimore County police dog was also brought in to try to pick up the man's scent, firefighters said.

Warm water temperature made it difficult for the heat-sensor to locate the man and the dog was thrown off the scent by breezy weather, so divers were called in, Chief Sheckells said. They found the man's body about 5:25 p.m.

Firefighters said they still had not identified the man late last night.

The other water accident along the Magothy occurred between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., when a 37-year-old Baltimore-area man fell into Cornfield Creek near Gibson Island, according to Maryland Natural Resources Police.

He and another man had apparently been checking a crab trap from their canoe when the craft capsized, said John Surrick, a Natural Resources police spokesman.

The 37-year-old man disappeared under the surface, but the other boater was able to stay above water by clinging to a nearby buoy, Mr. Surrick said.

His yells for help were heard by a man on shore, who borrowed a neighbor's boat and went out into the creek to rescue him, Mr. Surrick said.

The search for the missing man was called off last night due to darkness and will resume this morning, natural resources police said.

The name was being withheld pending notification of the man's relatives.

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