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Officer Rescues 7-Year-Old; One Person Missing

Chestertown, Md. (June 9, 2011) — The Maryland Natural Resources (NRP) police rescued a 7-year-old boy and are still searching for the boy’s uncle.

Yesterday at 4:10 p.m., NRP Corporal Chris Pavon rescued Aiden Smith, 7, after he was swept away from a vessel by the Chester River current near Chestertown. The boy was fishing with his uncle, James Joseph Schmidt, 47 and his grandfather, Charles Blevins, 64, both of Millington, on a boat on the Chester River near Buckingham landing.

An investigation revealed that at approximately 4 p.m., Smith entered the water to cool off from the hot sun and was holding onto the swim platform of the boat. The current of the Chester River swept Smith away from the vessel. Schmidt jumped into the water to rescue Smith, but was also swept away by the current. Blevins immediately dialed 911.

Cpl. Pavon heard the distress call and arrived on the scene within ten minutes. The officer quickly located Smith, who was having trouble keeping his head above water, about a quarter of a mile down the river from his boat. Cpl. Pavon rescued Smith and brought him to shore. He was then transported to Chester River hospital as a precaution.

NRP, the U.S. Coast Guard, and fire companies from Chestertown, Kennedyville, Crumpton and Kent County continued searching for Schmidt until sunset. The search for Schmidt, consisting of surface searches by boat and air, NRP K-9 units and fire company divers, resumed at first light this morning.

NRP’s Special Operations division continues to investigate.

   June 9, 2011

Contact: Sgt. A.A. Windemuth
410-260-8003 office | 410-713-8449 cell

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 a 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