By Rick Ritter

CREAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — Tragedy struck on the water when a 58-year-old man died after a kayaking accident on the Monocacy River.

His is just one of many calls rescue crews have responded to over the last few weeks due to lingering effects of storms in the area.

For days, waterways across Maryland have been clogged with storm debris, branches, trees and other random items.

“I’ve seen washers, tires and even parts of a car,” One man taking pictures near the Conowingo Dam said.

Those lingering effects of Mother Nature led to the accident in Frederick County.

Police said 58-year-old Patrick Waldron’s kayak capsized Thursday on the Monocacy River. Although he was wearing a life jacket, the currents were so fast he was pulled underwater.

“The kayak hit debris and immediately capsized. He had the life jacket but kept going underwater and swallowed too much water. Unfortunately, he drowned,” said Lt. Chuck Fawley, Maryland Natural Resources Police.

Days before that, another group of kayakers were rescued in northern Baltimore County. There have also been several rescuers of tubers along the Gunpowder River over the last week due to water-logged banks.

There has been debris in Annapolis and Sandy Point Beach, which took days to clean up. Sandy Point Park shut down swimming for days due to hazardous conditions. The concern is not only the fast-moving currents and visible debris but what lurks below.

“Absolutely. There can be debris underwater too from these recent storms that can lead to an accident or a kayak capsizing,” Fawley said.

With a weekend forecast that includes heavy rain, police are warning boaters and kayakers to exercise caution.

Thursday’s fatality marks the 14th boating-related death on Maryland waterways this year, compared to just 9 in 2017.




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Rick Ritter


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