Chesapeake Bay Turns Deadly: Man dies trying to save his hat that blew into the South River

Boating has been rough the first couple weekends of June on the Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland Natural Resources Police rescued two capsized boats.

But all turned out well this weekend. That wasn’t the case a week earlier.

Joseph Vincent Rossi, 47, of Edgewater just wanted his hat back. He’d rented a boat to take his family on a weekend ride around the Chesapeake Bay. They were on their way home, running up the South River, when the wind caught his hat and sent it flying into the water.

Maryland NRP say he jumped in to retrieve the hat. But the boat kept going with his wife and two elementary school aged children aboard, leaving Rossi behind. The wife, who didn’t know how to operate the 25-foot boat, flagged down another boat. The two men caught up to the runaway and one of the rescuers jumped aboard, stopping it. They then turned around to look for Rossi, but couldn’t find him.

Emergency personnel found his body the next day.

Rossi had forgotten to put the boat in neutral before he leapt off the boat to save his hat.

Two fishermen also went missing that weekend:

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