There were scary moments on the Severn River Sunday after strong winds overturned sailboats and left nearly two dozen people in the water, in need of rescue.
The boaters set out from the Severn Sailing Association to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather, with temperatures in the low 60s. But a cold front that moved in around 2:30 p.m. brought 40 mph wind gusts and a sudden drop in temperature.
Stuart White captured cell phone video of the small boats overturning near the Naval Academy.
“To me as a sailor, it was extremely scary,” White said. “Being out there if it's, like, 80 degrees, that's not a problem. But it was super cold, the wind was howling.”
Maryland Natural Resources Police said the people pulled from the water were 16 to 70 years old. Everyone got out safely.
The Coast Guard and Naval Academy assisted the department of natural resources with the rescue. Police said the water temperature at the time was 43 degrees, and that wetsuits on sailors and quick action by rescuers made for a good outcome.
“I'm glad everyone is safe, that's the most important thing,” said White.
Also on Sunday, several sailboats overturned on the Potomac River near the Wilson Bridge. D.C. Fire pulled three people from the water. They went to the hospital to be checked out, but there were no serious injuries, according to firefighters.