Divers who helped recover bodies after Key Bridge collapse honored

On Thursday, the Prince George’s County Police Department and county leadership honored the heroic dive team that responded to the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse a little over a week ago. 

"You got a call, and you immediately went to a location where you knew it was going to be dangerous," said PGPD Chief, Malik Aziz. He and other county leaders, including County Executive Angela Alsbrooks, thanked the team for their bravery. 

We were not allowed to interview any of the divers. A department spokesperson says that is due to the ongoing investigation. 
Describing how dangerous the job is, department superiors say the divers could hear the unstable ship and bridge still moving and creaking around them, as the divers were underwater. 

READ MORE: Second temporary channel opens in Baltimore Port after Key Bridge collapse

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Baltimore Key Bridge collapse: Prince George’s Co. honors heroic divers who helped recover bodies

"Our boats looked like tiny little dots in the water right alongside that ship. So once you get close and realize the magnitude of what you have there, um, that’s when we realized this was an extreme catastrophe, serious incident," said PGPD Marine Unit Commander, Lt. Charles E. Perry. 

Perry also says the divers faced water so murky, they could hardly see. 

They didn’t know what was inside the leaking ship containers that fell in the Patapsco River. Still, the Prince George’s County Police Special Operations Division with 2 boats and 9-divers, went just a few hours after the bridge collapse, at around 4 a.m. Tuesday, March 26th.  

"We’re all pretty humbled," said Lt. Perry of receiving the honors, "I can say it’s what we do, it’s what we trained for, we had it happen here in Prince George’s County on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, like I stated earlier, so we know it’s not impossible. If it happens, we’re going to be there."

The Prince George’s dive team worked with Maryland State Police, Baltimore City and Baltimore County – as well as Anne Arundel County Police, to recover the bodies of the two construction workers found in a red truck some 60-feet underwater. 

They were identified as 35-year-old Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes of Baltimore and 26-year-old Dorlian Castillo Cabrera of Dundalk, Maryland. 

The team’s leader spoke to being grateful they could help bring their families some closure.

WATCH: Francis Scott Key Bridge collapses in Maryland

County leaders said to the families of the four men still missing, "We have not forgotten." 

Lt Perry says his unit stands ready to go back in, if called.

The PGPD SOD Marine Unit members honored are:

Lt. Charles E. Perry

Sgt. Scott A. Hamilton, 

Sgt. Nicholas T. Fiore

Sgt. Jonathan E. Eyler

Cpl. Ryan A. Minnich

Cpl. Jeremy W. Bourget

Cpl. Matthew P. Waisempacher

Cpl Jeramie L. Jordan

Cpl. Delvon N. Montue

Cpl. John J. Clayton

Cpl Robert. E. Lee

Cpl. John A. Bonaccorsy