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Second body pulled from Potomac in two days

Montgomery County rescuers pulled a second body from the Potomac River on Thursday morning, four days after a 13-year-old girl and her mother went under on Memorial Day.

"We were looking for two bodies, and we found two bodies," Assistant Montgomery Fire Chief Scott Graham said Thursday.

He would not confirm whether either body is the girl or her mother. Medical experts are making official identifications. The other body was found Wednesday afternoon.

The latest discovery was made about 10:35 a.m. Thursday on the south side of Perry Island, about 1 1/2 miles from where the pair went missing after entering the water during a family gathering on the Virginia side of the river.

Rescue workers in a boat spotted the body and brought it ashore on the Maryland side of the river at 11 a.m. Thursday, Graham said.

Powerful currents make a section of the river bordered by Montgomery and Fairfax counties extremely dangerous, even in spots where the surface of the water looks calm. Fire and rescue officials held a news conference in the area Thursday morning to draw attention to the dangers and how it is against the law to swim in that stretch of the river.

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  |  June 3, 2010; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse , Montgomery  
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Very very sad, I commend the rescue workers attempts but fail to see why they called off a search for glare and "maybe" inclement weather.

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | June 3, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I would not second-guess the rescue workers here. Sadly, they have way too much experience in this sort of thing.

In any event, at that point they know these people either died in the first twenty minutes, or had climbed out of the river and could be rescued later.

Posted by: krickey7 | June 3, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Don't fault the rescue workers for suspending the search due to pending bad weather.The first rule of any rescue operations is you don't trade lives. If people ignore the signs posted along the river in several different languages about the danger the river can pose, then they bear the consequences of their actions.

Posted by: michaelpeck406 | June 3, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

So sad. Your instinct tells you to go after your loved one in a situation like this, putting danger away in the back of your mind. Unfortunately the ending became tragic. May they rest in peace.

Posted by: lulu202 | June 3, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

My first thought was what was the mother thinking about going after a ball especially at or near the river? And why were they playing with a ball by the river? Common sense should have kicked in that a ball can always be replaced but not a life. Poor child lost her life trying to save her mother. May their souls rest is peace.

Posted by: msruby36 | June 3, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

It's very sad. The Potomac is a lethal river. I believe the average is seven drownings a year. Yet every time I have visited Great Falls, I have seen people sitting, walking, or climbing way out on the rocks. Rapids surround the rocks. If people fall in, they die. If people go in after them, they die, too. The calmer-seeming areas of flat water are equally deadly. Please, people, stay out of this river.

Posted by: Lily48 | June 3, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

So sad. May their souls rest in peace. May the family they left behind be comforted.

Posted by: selence | June 3, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

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