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2 Men Die After Crews Pull Them From The Patapsco River

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Mike Hellgren 370x278 Mike Hellgren
WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — We’re learning new information about a tragedy on the Patapsco River. Rescuers pulled the bodies of two men from the water in South Baltimore. Their friend survived.

Mike Hellgren has more on how it unfolded.

Police will not definitively say how the three ended up in the water, but the Coast Guard said they may have been swimming.

The two who died did not have identification on them and the medical examiner spent the day trying to identify them through their fingerprints.

The police chopper scanned the foggy banks of the Patapsco as rescue teams searched underwater and recovered the bodies of two young men Sunday morning. Rescuers saved the life of their friend, a woman found clinging to a pier.

“They used a spotlight to shine on her. They were able to get her and bring her to safety,” said Det. Brandon Echevarria.

The Coast Guard initially said the three were swimming.

While the weather was unusually warm, the water was only around 40 degrees. Few can imagine anyone wanting to swim here.

“Yeah, I thought maybe it was a boating accident or something,” said one.

There are signs warning against trespassing, and much of the area is fenced off.

“We don’t want to speculate. At some point, they were on the pier and then they were in the water,” Echevarria said.

The rescue happened within sight of downtown in Port Covington, an industrial area of South Baltimore.

Baltimore City’s dive team has access to high-tech equipment, including robotic cameras. Visibility is difficult and body temperatures fall quickly.

The city fire department says rescue crews used sonar equipment to find the bodies. The department says it was able to respond to the scene quickly.

The crew was dispatched at 5:51 a.m. By 5:57, units were at the scene. The last body was pulled from the water by 11:30.

The key to the investigation could be the survivor, who is now out of the hospital.

“She did speak to investigators. What I can tell you is she is cooperative with the investigation,” said Echevarria.

Police say the victims are from the Baltimore area.

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