Billy Goat A trail overlooking Mather Gorge at the Potomac River. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This article was updated at 4:55 p.m., July 24 to clarify that the swimmer has been pronounced dead.

A report of a swimmer in distress in the Potomac River around 10 a.m. Saturday sent Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service boats searching for a 45-year-old man wearing yellow shorts, according to radio dispatches. He has since been pronounced deceased, officials say.

MCFRS personnel located the man in the river, pulled him out of the water and began performing CPR around 10:18 a.m., according to radio transmissions. The man was transported via boat to a waiting ambulance near Old Anglers Inn and then taken to Suburban Hospital, according to MCFRS.

The swimmer has since been pronounced deceased, according to Montgomery County Police spokesperson Lauren Ivey. His identity will not be released to the public, Ivey said.

Six minors who had been with the man were located on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, according to Daniel Ogren, Assistant Chief with MCFRS.

Ogren added that the man was at the river this morning with his children, and he planned to swim across the Potomac River from the Virginia side to the Maryland side. However, he disappeared around the middle of the river.


Swimming in the river is strictly prohibited because of the “extremely hazardous current,” and each year, there are about a dozen people who drown, according to Ogren.

Witnesses, including at least one member of his group and a person on the Maryland side, called 911, Ogren said.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.


MoCo360 reporter Em Espey contributed to this story.