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.