- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A Lexington Park man and his girlfriend’s stepfather died Saturday when the boat they were fishing from with four other people rolled onto its side in the Chesapeake Bay, according to authorities and family members who reflected the next day on their loss.
A helicopter crew spotted the body of David Fletcher, 43, after boats responding to the area two miles south of Point Lookout State Park brought the five other passengers to shore, including 55-year-old David Chase, also of Lexington Park, family members said.
Chase suffered a heart attack and died, they said. His stepdaughter and two other people on the boat, including its owner, were treated at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital for hypothermia and released, family members said.
A local charter boat captain was alerted at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday by a sibling of a passenger on the 25-foot vessel. The passenger had called a sister to say that the boat was taking on water, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Radio monitors heard the charter captain asking for assistance to find the overturned boat, and boat crews from the Coast Guard station in St. Inigoes, Maryland Natural Resources Police and St. Mary’s fire and rescue volunteers responded to the scene.
Waves of three to five feet were in that area on Saturday morning, the first day of rockfish season, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.
Chase and the four survivors were in the water for about an hour, his family members said, but Fletcher was in the water for about 90 minutes before the helicopter crew spotted him.
“Dad’s in a happy place,” Kabari Brooks, 16, Fletcher’s son, said Sunday, “but that’s not the right way.”