Male believed to have drowned after attempting to help two females who fell off tube in Potomac

By: David M. Higgins II

Update 8/20/2019- Per sources the victim was found in the Potomac River today after an approximate 36-hour search. The name of the victim is being withheld at this time pending notification of the family.

The Southern Maryland Chronicle asks that f you do know this individual, please keep it to yourself and wait for an official announcement so that family members are not finding out online. Thank you.


UPDATE 9:30 a.m.- The Southern Maryland Chronicle has spoken to Charles County Volunteer Fire & EMS Public Information Officer William Smith about the rescue incident.

At this time Charles County Dive team, along with 10th District River Boat, the Coast Guard and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are searching for a male victim.

The incident took place yesterday evening when ten people were on a boat and were water tubing. Two females were on a tube and fell off. A male, the missing victim, jumped in to help the females. Without a life preserver, the male began to panic when helping the two others. The operator of the boat jumped in to help and by the time he got the two females on board, the male victim was gone and believed to have drowned.

Charles County Dive is using side-scan sonar on a target they believe may be the victim, while the 10th District is scanning the shore. The crews plan to search until about 11:30 a.m., then the tides change. If the victim is not found by then, they plan to regroup and continue the search after the tides change again this afternoon.

There is no comment on whether alcohol was involved or not.

We will continue to follow this with updates as we have them.


UPDATE 5:00 a.m. 8/19/2019- Clarified information from last night’s water rescue. UNits involved were Charles County West Side Marine Resources, along with Maryland Department of Natural Resources, The Coast Guard, Prince William County(VA), and Stafford County(Va.).

A grid search as used to search for a person overboard. At dark, the person had not been located. The units will head back out at first light to begin searching again.

The ten other passengers on the boat were taken back ashore.

Images via Bill Smith, Charles County Volunteer Fire and EMS Public Information Officer


Update 6:46 p.m.- The Coast Guard has released a vessel that held ten individuals. No word is all individuals were released.


UPDATE 6:36 p.m.- Charles County has released Fairfax County Air Support and is scaling back. We will continue to bring you any more information when we find out.


Potomac River, MD- Charles County, along with several other units from Maryland, and Virginia, including air support, are currently involved in a water rescue in which a reported possible” disorderly person” is placing several boaters at risk.

We have heard at least 10 people were detained and/or questioned but are being released. There is also the possibility that a person is in the water and unaccounted for.

The situation is very breaking and information is limited at this time. There is a lot of radio traffic going on and we want to make sure we can sift it all out. We will bring you more information after we can confirm all that is going on.

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