EDGEWATER, Md. (WJZ) — Thin ice may be to blame for the death of a man in Edgewater. That’s where authorities plucked a body of a man in his 20s from a storm drainage pond. Alex DeMetrick has more on how rescuers found the body.
The victim, Justin Raddie from Gambrills, was apparently alone. His body may not have been discovered until spring, if not for an observant dog-walker.
Behind a housing development on Stepney’s Lane in Edgewater, a woman was walking her dog on a paved path that runs along a storm drainage pond. She noticed a pair of shoes on the thin ice near a hole.
“Yesterday, when she was out here, she noticed no holes in the ice and today she became alarmed,” said Captain James Ross.
Firefighters pulled Raddie’s body from under the ice near a hole in six-feet deep water.
“That is terrible,” said a neighbor.
Neighbors say children often skate on the pond in winter. Some claim the ice appeared thick until above-freezing temps on Saturday thinned it out.
“There’s a little bit of snow. It’s deceiving that you think it’s completely frozen and it’s not, it’s just covered. An inch of snow will make a big difference in thinking it’s solid and it isn’t,” said Barbara Silva.
That’s exactly why this weekend, several local fire departments and were training to rescue people who fall through ice. The water is so cold, hypothermia sets in in a matter of minutes.
“The clothing they’re wearing, it adds weight, it adds density, it adds mobility problems, so once they’re in the water, they start to freeze,” said Shannon Stallings, Bowleys Quarters Volunteer Fire Department.
Getting out of these holes without professional help is near impossible. Firefighters say no ice is safe unless it’s at least four inches thick.
Justin Raddie body was taken to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.
Firefighters say the searched the water near both holes in case there were other victims or a pet that the victim was trying to rescue, but they found nothing.