Search For Missing Boater Continues

ANNAPOLIS (May 12, 2010) - The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) continue to search for the body of a missing person from Saturday's boating accident that happened in the Chesapeake Bay approximately 1 mile east of Elm's Beach in Dameron, St. Mary's County. The Maryland State Police Aviation unit is assisting the recovery by conducting aerial searches.

The accident happened May 8 at 2:00 p.m., when two men, Oscar Armando Bonilla, age 26, and Jose Velazquez, age 47, both from Riverdale, Md. were fishing from a 12' canoe that capsized due to the 30-knot winds and 3 foot waves striking their boat. The individuals only had one life jacket on the canoe and the occupants were unable to put it on when the boat capsized.

Bonilla and Velazquez were in the water for approximately two and a half hours before Bonilla disappeared below the surface of the water and NRP presumed he drowned. Velazquez eventually swam to shore and summoned help.

This accident is the fourth boating related fatality this year. The first fatality of the year occurred in January in Somerset County and two other fatalities occurred last week, in the Susquehanna River and Choptank River.

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