BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The parents of a Vermont man who fell into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and died earlier this month want city officials to install protective rails and more lights around the water’s edge.
According to our media partner’s at The Baltimore Sun, Ryan Schroeder, 26, was in town for a business conference when he fell into the water on February 1.
While two passersby called 911 he struggled in the water for roughly 40 minutes before he was pulled out. Rescue workers rushed him to Shock Trauma where he was later pronounced dead.
His parents Jim and Anne Schroeder of Duxbury, Mass., visited the spot where he fell and saw there weren’t any rails and that the closest ladder or life ring is across the water near the National Aquarium.
The Baltimore Sun reports that the two placed signs with their son’s picture at the spot to encourage the city to build “rails for Ryan,” and met with representatives of the mayor.
“We’re here to advocate for some railings or guard rails around the harbor to make people aware of how dangerous it is,” Jim Schroeder told The Sun. “He fell into a trap that no human could have gotten out of without help.”
Other parent’s have called for similar measures after their children fell into the water. In 2013, 29-ear-old Evan Curbeam was found dead in the harbor near Fells Point. His father, David Thomas, also pushed for railings and increased lighting after the incident.
Local crime researcher Ellen Worthing tells The Sun that more than 50 bodies have been found in the Inner Harbor since 2000 including homeless people and tourists. Police say alcohol played a role in several of the deaths.
A spokesperson for Mayor Pugh confirmed with The Sun that aids met with the Schroeders on Wednesday.
“Our hearts go out to the them during this difficult time,” spokeswoman Amanda Smith said in a statement to The Baltimore Sun. “We take this matter very seriously, and an investigation of the incident is currently in progress.”
The Schroeders have set up a GoFundMe page in memory of their son. They will use the money to set up a scholarship fund in his honor; saying on the page that it’s “in order to recognize and celebrate in others the qualities that his family so loved” in him.
“There are going to be people who are going to tell us that Ryan lived in his 26 years more than a lot of people live in a lifetime,” Anne Schroeder told The Sun. “While we know that’s true, it doesn’t help how we feel. We know he touched so many people in his short life. But we just so want him back.”