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Soldier Drowned In Rocks State Park, Body Recovered

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JARRETTSVILLE, Md. (WJZ)— A  few hours of fun and relaxation ends in horror for a group of soldiers stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The soldiers headed to a popular swimming area in Rocks State Park in Harford County. One of them went in the water but never came out.

Kelly McPherson explains this isn’t the first time there’s been a drowning in the very same spot.

People who live in the area were not surprised to hear of the drowning and knew the exact rapid where it happened.

Rescue teams searched for the body of a solider for nearly two hours in a creek in Rocks State Park in Harford County.

His body has been located. The 19-year-old soldier was swimming with five other friends, who were all staying at Aberdeen Proving Grounds for Army training, according to Natural Resource Police.

One rescuer says the fellow soldiers were so distraught they were difficult to interview after the drowning.

Rescue teams believe the soldier swam down the rapid, went underwater and got his foot stuck in between rocks.  It’s only four feet deep, but the water moves fast.

“I live nearby and I know that there have been drownings there before, at the falls,” said Debbie Bowers.

The Department of Natural Resources say that it’s perfectly legal to swim there, but it’s dangerous.  In fact, one year ago this week another person drowned in the same spot in the same way.

“It’s all rocks under there, so it’s very likely that someone would get stuck,” said Tom Eader, of Jarrettsville.

Eader has gone down the rapids before. It’s a popular spot for tubing and swimming on hot summer days.

“If I go down sitting down it will push you down and water’s like almost up over your head.  You’ve got to be ready to hold yourself and push back out of it.  But, it’s like a lot of water pressure pushing down on you,” Eader said.

One of the soldiers was also injured on his leg while trying to save his friend. The deceased soldier’s identity is not being released until 24 hours after next of kin is notified.

The Department of Natural Resources is handling the investigation. The soldier’s body is at the medical examiner’s office in Baltimore.

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