Authorities find body of man who disappeared in Potomac River on Saturday -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated at 5:30 p.m. July 1, 2013.

The body of a man who went missing in the Potomac River on Monday has been found, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

The man — Vincent Crapps, 21 — was with the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), stationed at Fort Myer, Va., a news release said.

On Saturday, the Montgomery County Swift Water Rescue Team was dispatched after receiving a report of a missing man in the area of Purple Horse Beach near Bear Island, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Capt. Oscar Garcia said.

An investigation by Montgomery County Police detectives revealed that Crapps was diving off the cliffs on the Virginia side of the river when friends noticed him go underwater and not surface, a police press release said. The friends called 911.

The county team, along with rescue personnel from the U.S. Park Police and the Fairfax County (Va.) Swift Water Rescue Team, searched into the afternoon and evening Saturday and continued searching both Sunday and Monday mornings, Garcia said.

Authorities did not know Crapps’ hometown.

This was the second time in one week that Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel were called to search the Mather Gorge area of the Potomac River for a reported missing person.

On June 26, county rescue personnel recovered the body of 19-year-old Ngo Forchick of Takoma Park. He was reported missing on June 24 after friends reported that he slipped while standing on rocks by the water. He had been swimming with friends near Purple Horse Beach.

Garcia said that according to records, between 2001 and 2008, there were one to four drownings per year in the Mather Gorge, a 14-mile section of the Potomac between Key Bridge and just north of Great Falls.

There was an unusually high number in 2009 — 10 drownings.

In 2010, there were two.

“Even though it looks calm on top, [the river] has strong currents underneath,” Garcia said. “People believe it is safe, but it is deceiving.”

Garcia said people can enjoy the park along the river, but wading and swimming are not allowed. Signs are posted in several languages to alert people to the dangers of the river.

pmcewan@gazette.net