A preliminary investigation found that a 44-foot sailboat was leaving the dock area of the marina when one of its passengers, an 81-year-old man, fell into the water. The man was not wearing a life jacket.
After being pulled back onto the boat and brought to shore, the man was transported to Harford Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death is yet to be determined, and the victim’s name was being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police remind all citizens and visitors that attention to boating safety saves lives, and is of paramount importance when enjoying Maryland’s waterways. While it is recommended that everyone on board wear a personal floatation device while a vessel is underway, a child under 13 years of age must wear a life jacket while underway in a vessel that is less than 21 feet in length.
In addition, children under 4 years of age and/or less than 50 pounds must have a life jacket equipped with a grab strap, inflatable headrest and crotch strap. NRP also recommends filing a float plan with a friend or relative. The plan should include the vessel’s destination, how long it will remain at the destination, and what time it’s expected to return. This information will assist rescue units if the vessel does not return. The Maryland Natural Resources Police emergency number is 800-628-9944 .