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Crews find man's body in Loch Raven Reservoir

Posted at 1:50 PM, Aug 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-28 14:28:34-04

Hours after rescue efforts began in the 10500 block of Pot Spring Road, officials say their efforts have turned to recovery.

At around 10:45 a.m., neighbors near Pot Spring Road called Baltimore County Police to report a man who was walking door to door asking for water, looking distressed. County Police and Baltimore Environmental Police responded, and saw a man matching the description walking down a trail to the water. They attempted to make contact with him, but he was far away. Police say there weren't any signs the man heard officers far behind him as he continued to the shoreline, got into the water, swam out about 75 feet and then went under. 

"There were no signs of distress. There were no calls for help," Baltimore Environmental Police Chief Luke Brackett said. 

Crews immediately called for back up and started rescue efforts. After a few hours, the search turned into recovery; officers believing the man drowned in the spot they saw him go down. 

The reservoir is owned by Baltimore City and it's illegal to swim in it, but police say it happens all the time. Because the reservoir is used for drinking water, it is kept unusually cold and the temperature change from the heat outside can be a shock to the system. 

"Your body almost gasps when you have a dramatic temperature change and that can cause people, even really good swimmers, to seize and cramp and go down," Brackett said.

Brackett says the last accidental drowning at the reservoir was in 2010. 

Crews found the man's body around 6:21 p.m., but they have not identified who the man is at this time. County police are trying to piece together who the man was and what brought him down to the reservoir. They also don't know for sure he is the same man that neighbors were calling about earlier Monday.

In response to this incident, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works wants to remind people to not swim in the city's reservoirs. They say that the temperatures, raped drop-offs, currents, hidden rocks, and branches make them not safe for swimming. 

Those who are caught swimming in the reservoirs will have a criminal record, will be fined up to $1,000 and jailed.