Swimmer drowns in Potomac River

Signs are posted around the river to warn swimmers of potential danger. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

WASHINGTON – A body was pulled from the Potomac River on Friday after police say the person drowned swimming.

“I believe this is the first fatality in the river itself, in the gorge,” says Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief of Special Operations Scott Goldstein.

The person waded into the Potomac River on the Virginia side, Goldstein says. “And then, he was not seen coming back up to the water’s surface.”

Just below the surface, the Potomac has a strong current, Goldstein says. Objects underwater have been known to trap people.

The body was taken out of the water at Great Falls Park in Maryland.

There is a continuing public education program over how dangerous the river can be. “There are tri-language signs up and down the river about the dangers of the river,” Goldstein adds.

WTOP’s Kathy Stewart contributed to this report.

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