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Boy, 15, dies trying to swim across Patuxent River

A 15-year-old Anne Arundel boy drowned Tuesday after trying to swim across the Patuxent River, the county police department said.

Witnesses told police who arrived at Wayson’s Mobile Trailer Park in Lothian that Edward D. Knudsen Jr. jumped in the river and managed to swim about halfway across before encountering trouble with the current, according to a police news release.

Two acquaintances tried to save the boy, police said, but could not, and he eventually went under the water. A third acquaintance then called 911, according to police.

Police and emergency personnel from Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Howard counties, as well as state Department of Natural Resources Police, responded. Knudsen’s body was recovered from the river about 5:34 p.m.

-- David P. Marino-Nachison

By Washington Post Editors  |  April 21, 2010; 10:03 AM ET
Categories:  Anne Arundel , David P. Marino-Nachison , Emergencies & Rescues  
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What fool from Wayson’s Mobile Trailer Park stood an watched watch while a 15yr tried to swim a river?

Posted by: AlbyVA | April 21, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

once saw a model of the depths of that river. not knowing the exact spot, that river is a little more than people think. That river is essentially a canyon filled with water. it can drop from 3-4 feet to 12 feet and then 40-60 feet. I've been paddle boating n the river. Low tide it looks tranquil, high tide or increased pressure and the thing rages.

Posted by: oknow1 | April 21, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

People have no idea what the currents and tides can do to a swimmer. As a former Navy diver, I hate to read these stories. I know that even strong swimmers feel invincible in wide rivers. Always respect the water.

Posted by: jckdoors | April 21, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

i mean... really? for what? just to do it? geez

Posted by: rockettonu | April 21, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

My brother and his friend got the brilliant idea to float across the Delaware River on a large piece of styrofoam when they were kids. The only thing that stopped them was that the sister of my brother's friend wanted to come along and they said no. She told her mother, who came down to the river and ended that expedition. It's amazing what kids think is a good idea.

Posted by: WickedRose | April 21, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Rest in peace, Edward D. Knudsen Jr. My condolences to your family, friends and associates.

A friend and I walked across the frozen Potomac from Algonquin Park to Maryland and back. I remember we laid down on the ice in the middle of the river and stared at the dirt and sand at the bottom.

This was in 1976-1977 when I was young, immortal and stupid.

Posted by: JoStalin | April 21, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Sad. Sometimes the young and healthy don't have enough fear of their own mortality.

Posted by: jabreal00 | April 21, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

All of the stupidity comments are so uncalled for. I'm pretty sure that all of you can look back at some time in your life and pinpoint when you did something life threatening that at the time meant nothing to you. The poor child died, so have some respect. It could have easily been your child that thought that was a good idea.

Posted by: breanajohnson0914 | April 21, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

how sad and tragic.
everyone needs water safety lessons.
if you find yourself in trouble in a river or riptide, etc, try laying on your back and floating and waiting for help.

Posted by: MarilynManson | April 21, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Darwin wins.

Posted by: Pilot1 | April 21, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand how currents work. The Potomac looks so easy to just swim across, but I would never try it because I have been told how dangerous it is and only have to read the Post to see how often someone drowns in the Potomac. It seems like why can’t you just swim across and down until you reach the other side. Do these currents have magical powers that pull you down and hold you under? How can they look so tranquil on top? Very scary. The boy probably didn’t have an appreciation of currents either.

Posted by: TG10 | April 21, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

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