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Ferry Victims May Have Been Found

March 12, 2004|From Associated Press

BALTIMORE — A robotic submarine found three objects in the harbor that may be the bodies of passengers missing since a water taxi capsized last weekend in a storm, officials said Thursday.

Fire Chief William Goodwin said he was "guardedly optimistic" about finding the remains of the missing man, woman and 6-year-old boy. Divers went into the water just before noon, and Goodwin said sunny, calmer conditions should help.

The three were among 25 people aboard the Seaport Taxi on Saturday when it flipped over near Fort McHenry in the storm with wind gusts reaching 55 mph. The boat was equipped with life jackets, but passengers are not required to wear them.

The high-tech sub, normally used to help lay communications cables in the Atlantic Ocean, found one of the objects Wednesday evening and the other two overnight, and it measured their dimensions, Goodwin said.

The missing are two 26-year-olds who planned to marry and a 6-year-old boy touring the harbor with his parents and two sisters.

The missing boy's 8-year-old sister, Sarah Bentrem, was in critical condition at University of Maryland Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said. Two other passengers have died.

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