CHESTERTOWN, Md. (WJZ)— A dangerous day on the water. Crews have recovered the Maryland swimmer who went under on the Eastern Shore.

Weijia Jiang reports police say many people don’t realize how strong these currents can be. In fact, they gave dive teams trouble Thursday. Search crews have been busy since sunrise in the brutal heat.

Maryland Natural Resources Police scoured the Chester River for James Schmidt, 47, who had been missing since Wednesday. By air, by boat, underwater, even with K-9 units, the search team recovered his body Thursday evening.

Police say Schmidt jumped into the water after his 7-year-old nephew Aiden Smith, who was swept away by strong currents. The pair was fishing on a boat, along with Schmidt’s 64- year-old stepfather. The young boy first got into the river for relief from the dangerous heat. Crews rescued him, but Schmidt didn’t resurface.

Natural Resources Police say swimming in any unguarded water is taking a risk. In fact, Schmidt’s recovery is just one of several that have happened in Maryland waters since Memorial Day.

In a short span of six weeks, three people have died in Baltimore reservoirs. Another died in a Montgomery County reservoir. Police say Schmidt is the fourth drowning in state water, and two boaters were recently killed in the Chesapeake Bay. Still, many are willing to take a risk to cool down.

Police say Schmidt was not wearing any protective gear. They urge all boaters to wear life vests when out on the water.

Comments (12)
  1. a schauber says:

    body recover on Chester River just before 6 pm

  2. Doug says:

    Had they just used some float,even a boat fender,
    the day would have ended with happy family memories.
    So sad.

  3. Amanda says:

    R.I.P. uncle Jimmy i love you with all my heart..i wont say goodbye because this is still so hard to believe sooo until we meet again may you rest in peace and watch down on me from heaven and guide me in the right path. You are truly a hero its sad that you lost your life while savin my nephew but everythin happens for a reason.. i love you:-(

  4. Autumn says:

    R.I.P JIMMY 😦

  5. Lauren Stevens says:

    Please say prayers for the friends and family of Jimmy. I had the honor of knowing him for several years. He was a person of honesty and intergrity, a good man. We need more people in the world like him. His act was true to character, a hero that will never be forgotten. May he rest in peace. God bless his family as they cope with this loss.

    1. Sheila Schmidt says:

      Thank you Lauren

  6. Saddened says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of their loved one. May god be with you all and help you through this tragic loss.

  7. Primetime Editorials says:

    this is so sad
    i always wear a life jacket in the water

  8. Ramsey says:

    We had the pleasure of working with Jimmy for a short time. He always went over and above what he had to do. Always looked neat as a pin and a smile on his face. He was an amazing person to work with and we appreciated him everyday. Please watch over us all and keep on truckin friend. Your dispatchers…..Brian and Lisa Ramsey GL Day Trans/DeMarche

  9. Steve Vanover says:

    Jimmy you are a hero. Nothing less. You will deeply be missed by the many lives you’ve touched. It was an honor and a privilege to have had you in my life and you will never be forgotten. You and your family are in our prayers. Where ever you are, I know your keeping things organized, polished, and adding more CHROME. I love my Trucker Brother….Steve VanOver

  10. Shelly Bangert (Niverth) says:

    I am so sorry to hear about this tragic accident. I grew up with Jimmy (as a teenager) when he lived in Jessup. He was a good kid back than so I am so happy to hear what a fine young man he had become. It appears he has touched a lot of lives. My prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends.

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