Body of Old Guard soldier recovered from Potomac

UPDATE: Monday – 7/01/2013, 4:10pm ET

WASHINGTON – Authorities say a man who drowned in the Potomac River after diving off a cliff was a member of the Army regiment known as the Old Guard.

Montgomery County police say the body of 21-year-old Army Specialist Vincent Crapps was recovered Monday afternoon.

Crapps was a member of the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment, the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army. Known as the Old Guard, the regiment handles ceremonial duties, including events at Arlington National Cemetery and visits by foreign dignitaries. A spokesman for the regiment confirmed the soldier’s death.


Greg Miller owns Paddlestroke SUP, a stand-up paddleboard school on the Potomac. He was on the water teaching a class Monday when word came that Vincent Crapps’ body had been spotted. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

Police say Crapps went missing late Saturday afternoon while diving off cliffs near Bear Island on the Virginia side of the river. His friends called 911 after he didn’t surface from the water. His death remains under investigation.

Greg Miller runs a stand up paddle school and was on the river teaching kids when he got word that Crapps’ body had been spotted.

Boaters like Miller who navigate the Potomac River wear helmets, pads and life vests to protect themselves on the water.

He says visitors should heed the signs warning of the dangers and that swimming is illegal in the Potomac.

“They don’t think it’s going to happen to them,” Miller says.

EARLIER: Sunday – 6/30/2013, 7:04pm ET

WASHINGTON – A search began Saturday evening for a person who jumped into the Potomac River in Maryland around 6 p.m.

According to Scott Goldstein, of Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, the person was swimming in Mather Gorge, north of Bear Island, and soon went under the water. Several people who were with him called 911 and searched the area themselves.

Swimming in Mather Gorge is illegal.

The swift-water rescue teams from Fairfax County and Montgomery County are working together to find the man. A helicopter from the U.S. Park Police was assisting in the search.

Goldstein says he no longer believes the man will be found alive.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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