Boaters found unhurt in Md.

September 09, 1997



Staff Writers

WILLIAMSPORT - Two boaters reported missing on the Potomac River late Monday were safely located by rescue workers, authorities said.

The boaters, Michael Nelson and Deborah Gardener, both 34, of Inwood, W.Va., had left from the Cherry Run area, near Hedgesville, W.Va., in a silver canoe at about 12:30 p.m., according to Capt. Will Ball of the Williamsport Volunteer Fire Department.

Rescue workers in a Williamsport Volunteer Fire Department search boat found the pair at about 10:45 p.m. about two miles upstream from River Bottom Park in Williamsport, Ball said.


They were rowing downstream and appeared to be unharmed, he said. Rescue workers brought them to River Bottom Park for further evaluation.

The pair said they had friends drop them off in Cherry Run so they could row over to Sportsmans Paradise campground near Falling Waters, W.Va., where they have a summer camper.

Ball said Department of Natural Resources officials were called at around 10 p.m. by someone concerned the canoe had not returned.

"They should have been able to make it before dark," he said.

The self-proclaimed boating enthusiasts blamed low water conditions in parts of the river for the delay in getting back.

"The water's so low we had to drag it through the rocks for about two or three miles," Nelson said.

"We were pretty tired. We fought, too. We just argued," Gardener said.

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