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Body Of Missing Swimmer Recovered At Patapsco State Park

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ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — After a grueling search, divers recover the body of a swimmer who went missing at Patapsco State Park.

Monique Griego has more on the tough conditions he and and the rescuers faced.

The man went under near Boede Dam. DNR leaders say it’s an area where people don’t realize how powerful the water can be.

For the second day, divers from the Department of Natural Resources Police scoured the waters near Boede Dam looking for any sign of a missing swimmer.

Authorities identified him as 27-year-old Alvaro Rivadineira Ordonez of Cheverly.

“A witness saw his hand come up once, and then that was the last anyone saw of him,” said DNR spokesperson Candy Thomson.

Thomson says Ordonez was at Patapsco State Park with a church group when some of them decided to go swimming. Investigators say they got in an area clearly marked with no swimming signs.

Due to recent storms, Thomson says the waters were especially rough.

“All that water was coming over the dam. It was tough conditions out there. Anybody who got in, and got in too far was going to get sucked under and held under,” said Thomson.

Friday’s recovery effort turned up no sign of Ordonez. Then, after being back in the water for several hours Saturday morning, rescuers located his body just after 1 p.m.

Thomson says even for experienced divers, the search was exhausting because of the powerful currents.

She also says the whole incident is a tragic reminder that while the scenery is picturesque, it can also be extremely dangerous.

“You’re having a good time, you’re cooling off. And one wrong move and you’re gone,” Thomson said.

Last year, DNR leaders say another man also drowned in the same area under similar conditions.

Authorities want to remind people to obey any signage at the park.

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