Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Missing Swimmers Near Great Falls Park

Two swimmers are missing after a late afternoon swim in the Potomac River near Great Falls Park in Cabin John, Maryland.

On June 21, 2009, a group of six swimmers illegally entered the Potomac River south of the main falls near Purple Horse Beach. This group attempted to swim across the river. Four swimmers self rescued and came ashore noticing that two were unaccounted for.

The Montgomery County Department of Fire and Rescue Services deployed a swift water rescue team from the Cabin John Park Fire Department. United States Park Police Aviation also responded to attempt to locate and rescue these missing people.

After a search of over two hours, the search was scaled back to await morning light.

The next day, the river rescue teams and United States Park Police units including Eagle One returned to continue looking.

As of June 23, 2009, the missing swimmers have not been found. For the past several weeks, a significant amount of rain has fallen in the area bringing high water levels to the Potomac River.

The United States Park Police stresses the importance of staying out of the Potomac River in the Gorge area from Great Falls towards Key Bridge as this area has treacherous currents that may be fatal to even strong swimmers.