3 water rescues, 1 death within 90 minutes in Montgomery Co.

A group of young people had been swimming in the Rocky Gorge Reservoir -- and one of them went missing. Howard County firefighters had been nearby practicing water rescues... so they rushed to help.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD (WUSA9) - Within 90 minutes, rescue crews Montgomery County responded to three water rescue emergencies. One of the cases ended with a man’s death.

Shortly before 5 p.m., Douglas Merino, 20, went missing while swimming in the Rocky Gorge Reservoir—located along the Patuxent River.

Members of the Howard County Fire Department were practicing water operations nearby. The man's friends approached the fire crew and asked for help finding Merino, who went missing underwater.

However, it was too late. At about 6:15 p.m., Howard and Montgomery County fire rescue crews recovered the man’s body. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The medical examiner ruled Merino's death an accidental drowning.

Swimming is not allowed in the Rocky Gorge Reservoir.

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At about the same time crews found the man’s body, the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue department received another call for help.

A life guard pulled a five-year-old child from a pool in an apartment complex on February Circle in the White Oak area. The child was taken to a hospital as a priority one patient. There’s no word on the child’s condition.

About 15 minutes later at 6:30 p.m., fire crews responded to a home on Corral Drive in Potomac for a young man drowning in a private pool. The 22-year-old was still in the pool underwater when crews arrived on the scene. He was taken to a hospital as a priority one patient. At last check, he was alive.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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