Kayaker missing since May 7 found by fishermen
BY PAMELA GOULD
THE FREE LANCE–STAR
The body of a kayaker who disappeared on the Potomac River on May 7 was found this weekend.
Three fisherman discovered 22-year-old Jeryl Cordelle Dickerson Jr. about 11 p.m. on Sunday at the mouth of Bonum Creek in Westmoreland County, Candy Thomson, spokeswoman for the Maryland Natural Resources Police, said on Monday.
Dickerson was identified by distinctive tattoos and then transported to the medical examiner’s office in Baltimore, Thomson said.
Incidents in the Potomac River are the jurisdiction of Maryland Natural Resources Police.
Dickerson lived and worked in the Woodbridge area of Prince William County at the time of his death, but was a 2009 graduate of Colonial Beach High School.
He was a reserve forward on the school’s basketball team when it took the Group A, Division 1 state title his senior year.
He made significant contributions during the run for the title, including making 5 of 5 field goal attempts in the semifinal game and scoring 7 points in the championship game, which was decided in the final seconds.
On May 7, Dickerson and four co-workers drove to Westmoreland County after getting off their shift at a Woodbridge restaurant.
At 6:15 a.m., about four hours after arriving, Dickerson and a co-worker got into separate kayaks planning to paddle across the Potomac River from Hague to Tall Timbers Marina in St. Mary’s County, Md. However, when they were about a mile out the co-worker noticed Dickerson showing signs of fatigue so he turned back for help, Thomson said.
The co-worker went to shore to retrieve a powerboat to tow Dickerson to safety but couldn’t find him when he returned.
The co-worker searched on his own before calling the Coast Guard at St. Inigoes, Md., Thomson said.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police, the Coast Guard, Virginia State Police, volunteer fire departments and the Westmoreland Sheriff’s Office searched for Dickerson.
His kayak was found bobbing against the shoreline on the Westmoreland side of the Potomac on the day he disappeared, Thomson said.
His body was found Saturday night at the water line along a rocky part of the coast that is technically in St. Mary’s County, Md., Thomson said.
Dickerson and his co-workers were visiting a family member’s vacation home located near Coles Point.
The water temperature was 58 degrees when Dickerson disappeared and he did not have a life vest or cell phone with him, Thomson said.
Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972
1. Be respectful. No personal attacks.
2. Please avoid offensive, vulgar, abusive, hateful or defamatory language.
3. Read and follow THE RULES.
4. Please notify us by flagging posts that are inappropriate.
Posts that include links, and posts from users with unverified e-mail addresses may take longer to appear.