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Swimmer Disappeared in Patapsco River on Fourth of July

A man last seen swimming near a dam in the park was reported missing, officials said.

Natural Resources Police were stationed near the Orange Grove area of Patapsco Valley State Park after a man was reported missing upriver; July 4, 2014. (Credit: Elizabeth Janney)
Natural Resources Police were stationed near the Orange Grove area of Patapsco Valley State Park after a man was reported missing upriver; July 4, 2014. (Credit: Elizabeth Janney)
A swimmer reported missing in Patapsco Valley State Park Friday afternoon has not yet been located, Baltimore County public safety officials reported Friday evening.

>>UPDATE: Body of Missing Man Found in Patapsco River<<

At 3 p.m. on the Fourth of July, someone called 911 to report that a swimmer had disappeared half an hour before, Lt. Paul Massarelli of the Baltimore County Fire Department said.

The man's family saw him go underwater near a dam/waterfall, and he didn't resurface, according to public safety officials.

Crews arrived at 3:08 p.m. and searched the area until nearly 6 p.m. but did not locate the man, Massarelli said. Howard and Baltimore county personnel assisted in the search, he said.

"We tried scuba diving, we tried walking the area, we tried reach poles, and we could not locate [the victim]," Massarelli said.

The search was suspended as evening set in due to deteriorating conditions in the water, according to police.

"...the currents were so strong that it was actually hard for our divers to search," Massarelli said.

Officials were still in discussions Friday night about whether to resume the search and when, he added.

Editor's note: The search resumed Saturday, when the victim was found.

None of the areas of the park was closed as a result of Friday afternoon's search, Massarelli said.

Patapsco was full of people celebrating Independence Day, according to park officials, who said the Avalon area—near where the man went missing—was full shortly after 11 a.m. Friday.

First responders reminded citizens that they should only swim in areas designated safe for swimming.

The location where the man went missing Friday "has a very large sign that says it's not a swimming area," Massarelli said.

Elizabeth Janney July 06, 2014 at 10:39 AM
The body was recovered. Update is here: http://ow.ly/yPmge

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