Officials urge life jackets amid deadly year for boaters
Natural Resources police urge boaters to wear life jackets as boating season concludes, nearing the end of a particularly deadly year on Maryland waterways.
A 55-year-old Hanover man is presumed dead after the canoe he was in took on water Tuesday afternoon in Linthicum, said Candy Thomson, a spokeswoman for Maryland Natural Resources Police. The man, William Jones Jr., went into the unnamed pond off River Road and didn't re-emerge.
Natural Resources Police and Maryland Park Service rangers continued a recovery mission through the days that followed. Thomson said the search will be ongoing.
This is the 23rd boating fatality of 2015, Thomson said, up from 19 last year, due in part to good conditions.
"At this time in the year, boating is usually over, but we've had a stretch of fabulous weather," she said.
In the "vast majority" of boating deaths, the victims weren't wearing life jackets, Thomson said.
Jones is among that group. Life vests were aboard the canoe but not worn by him or his companion, who was rescued by a fisherman and transported to Baltimore Washington Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening. An orange life jacket was later seen floating in the water nearby.
"Chances are good a life jacket would've saved his life," Thomson said.
Thomson said Jones lived with his mother, who declined to comment for this article. Attempts to reach other family members were unsuccessful.
The pond the men were canoeing in is small but particularly treacherous, with murky water and underwater vegetation and debris, Thomson said.
Anne Arundel County Fire Department divers searched the area Tuesday afternoon. Natural Resources Police conducted an underwater camera mission Wednesday and employed divers and canine units on Thursday. Officials continued to inspect the surface with binoculars on Friday.
"We look until we find," Thomson said.
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