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UPDATE: Man who rode watercraft over Potomac dam failed to heed warning buoys, authorities say

July 15, 2008

WILLIAMSPORT -- A Clear Spring man who went over Dam 5 of the Potomac River in a personal watercraft on Monday didn't heed warning buoys, a police spokesman said Tuesday.

After the fall, Ryan A. Myers, 22, got back on his watercraft and rode it some more, then walked back to where he and another male had gone in the river, Sgt. Ken Turner of the Maryland Natural Resources Police said.

Myers was flown in a state police helicopter to Washington County Hospital, but did not appear to have serious injuries, Turner said. Myers' condition was not immediately available Tuesday afternoon.

Turner said Myers and the other male, whose name was not released, were riding separate personal watercraft in the river near Williamsport. Myers and the other male passed a set of warning buoys, then another set of buoys that mark a restricted area about 200 yards above the dam, Turner said.


Then, Myers and his watercraft went over the dam.

Usually, "at a minimum, you would be seriously injured," he said.

But Myers swam to his personal watercraft and rode it farther downstream, before beaching it below Dam 5, Turner said.

Myers then walked about a mile along the C&O Canal towpath back to Four Locks, where he and the other male had launched, Turner said.

Police and ambulance crews were called to the river Monday night as emergency workers looked for him.

As of noon on Tuesday, no charges had been filed, Turner said.

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