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Search for missing fisherman resumes

May 15, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

SANDY HOOK -- A search for a man who fell in the Potomac River while fishing Saturday afternoon resumed at 8 Sunday morning, according to Washington County Emergency Services.

The search had been called off late Saturday, said Charlie Payne of the Potomac Valley Fire Department.

The man disappeared near Lock 32, Payne said. It is a popular fishing area, but it is not known as a dangerous part of the river, he said.

The man was swimming across the river trying to get to an island, Payne said.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources called off the search Saturday night, Payne said. He said the areas searchers are looking at are areas where it would be difficult for a boat to get to.

The man was identified as Daniel Figueroa, 37, of Gaithersburg, Md., by his nephew, Cesar Figueroa. Payne would not confirm the man's identity Saturday night.

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Family members gathered where he disappeared and still were searching with flashlights Saturday night.

Someone who was with Figueroa told emergency officials that he was fishing the river with him and "one minute he was there and the next minute he wasn't," a Washington County 911 communications supervisor said.

Daniel Figueroa was with family and friends for an outing and they decided to go fishing, Cesar Figueroa said.

An uncle turned around and Daniel was gone, Cesar Figueroa said.

Daniel Figueroa was in fairly decent health and he knew how to swim, Cesar Figueroa said.

A search of the river where Figueroa disappeared was launched at 5:50 p.m., the supervisor said.

Rescue personnel from the Potomac Valley Fire Department, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and National Park Service responded to the scene. Maryland State Police's Trooper 5 helicopter, along with personnel from Washington County's Special Operations Co. 20, Brunswick (Md.) Fire Co. and Independent Fire Co. of Ranson, W.Va., also responded to the scene, the supervisor said.

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