News from the DNR Office of Communications

Lifejackets Save Fishermen After Boat Capsized

St. Leonard, Md. (February 21, 2011) – The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) credited life jackets to saving the lives of three fisherman after their vessel capsized. The accident occurred at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 10 in the Chesapeake Bay at the Calvert Cliffs Power Plant discharge.

“The life jackets kept the men afloat in the frigid water until the nearby vessel could respond and essentially save their lives,” said NRP Sergeant Shawn Garren.

NRP’s investigation revealed that a 21-foot center console boat capsized after a four to five foot wave came over the stern while the men were fishing. The occupants of the vessel, Kevin Lynn Gladhill, 32, of Boonesboro; Michael George Krall, 35, of Keedysville; and Russell Uger Neff III, 55, of Boonesboro, were thrown into the 30 degree water.

A nearby fishing vessel responded to the fishermen’s calls for help. Dennis Charles Fleming, 51, of Mechanicsville and Grady Terry Warhurst, 64, of Upper Marlboro were at the scene within ten minutes and retrieved all three men from the water. The rescuing party transported the fishermen to Flag Harbor Marina in St. Leonard, where they were taken to Calvert Memorial Hospital and treated for hypothermia.

“The affects of hypothermia were quickly affecting the victims muscles, speech and their mental awareness. One of the victims could not even remember what happened to him,” Garren said. “They wouldn’t have made it much longer.”

NRP reminds boaters that wearing life jackets saves lives. Most accidents happen too quickly for life jackets to be an afterthought. Put on a life jacket prior to leaving the dock and wear it continually throughout the trip.

It is also important to check the vessel and its equipment prior to every departure. The cold weather affects battery life, ices fuel lines and vessel surfaces and clogs bilge pumps. It also numbs a person’s senses, making reaction time much slower.


  February 11, 2011

Contact: Sgt. A.A. Windemuth
410-260-8850 office | 410-713-8449 cell
awindemuth@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 247 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov