Sonar Led Divers to Body at Beaver Dam Swim Club: Police

The Baltimore County Police Department released more info about search for swimmer whose body was found Sunday.

(Credit: Middle River Volunteer Ambulance Rescue Company)
(Credit: Middle River Volunteer Ambulance Rescue Company)

Special equipment was brought to Baltimore County over the weekend to locate the body of a man missing at Beaver Dam Swim Club, police said Monday.

Steve Curtis Jennings Jr., 36, of New Carrollton, was found Sunday evening by divers with the aid of sonar, according to police.

Jennings went missing at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, police said. He was last seen near the diving board at the Cockeysville swim club, according to WJZ.

When someone called 911 to report his disappearance at 4:45 p.m., the Baltimore County Fire Department sent multiple resources to the scene, including two boats, the Urban Search and Rescue truck and Middle River divers, the report from police said.

The fire department stopped searching at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, when the investigation was turned over to police, according to the report.

The Beaver Dam Swim Club closed the facility temporarily on Sunday, as the Baltimore County Police Dive Team searched the swim club. Without finding anything Sunday morning, officials requested a “side scan sonar unit” to conduct a more detailed underwater search, the report said.

A side scan sonar unit is a device that gets dragged through the water and reports back whether anything echoes on either side of it, drawing a picture of what is underwater based on the sound waves, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It allows searchers to pinpoint where in a large body of water something may be. Then divers can be deployed in a targeted area, with an idea of the landscape in depths where visibility may be greatly reduced.

A member of the Baltimore City Fire Department arrived with the device and by the early evening, the scan identified an object underwater, police said.

Divers went down to see what the object was, but police said the terrain on the quarry floor made it difficult for them to swim to the exact location.

The divers returned to the surface, and a stokes basket was dropped into the water next to the spot where the sonar pinged an object, police said.

Using the basket as their guide, the divers were able to find the body 58 feet underwater, police said.

The average depth at the freshwater quarry is 40 feet, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The body was found at 7:33 p.m. and removed from the water at 7:40 p.m., according to the report.

Jennings' body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy, police said.

Related: Man's Body Recovered at Beaver Dam Swim Club


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