At approximately 1 a.m. Aug. 1, Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) corporal Jeffrey Sweitzer was on routine patrol on Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County when he observed a vessel traveling at an estimated 40 knots pass within 15 feet of a fishing vessel. The weather conditions at this time were overcast with poor visibility. While Swietzer was attempting to follow the vessel, he passed a person in the water who was screaming for help.
The 23-year-old male was picked up about 300 yards from shore and, according to police, was highly intoxicated, disoriented, swimming away from shore and not wearing a life jacket at the time he was rescued. The man stated he just fallen off a boat. The only boat in sight was the vessel that Sweitzer was following, which was now approximately one-half mile away and could only be observed by the stern light. The boat did not show any indications that it was turning around for its occupant.
Swietzer and the man found the vessel on a boat lift and covered for the night at a lakeside residence. The people that were on the boat were inside the residence.
Sweitzer's investigation revealed that the occupants of the vessel did not realize that McCarthy had fallen off the boat and was missing. The vessel operator was charged with negligent operation of a vessel.