A 14-year-old sailing student drowned Thursday afternoon after a boat capsized in the Severn River.
Olivia Constants, of Annapolis, Md., became trapped underneath the boat for up to three minutes before a Severn Sailing Association instructor was able to free her, according to Department of Natural Resources Police. The harness she was wearing may have become entangled with the sailboat’s rigging.
She was wearing a life jacket at the time.
Olivia was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
“It’s an accident; it’s a tragedy,” said DNR police Sgt. Art Windemuth. “It highlights how fragile life is, and these things sometimes happen even taking the best precaution.”
Olivia and another student were on the boat alone when it capsized. Investigators believe Olivia may have been executing a trapeze maneuver -– standing on the edge of the boat and in essence making the boat a big windsurf, NBC Washington’s Pat Collins reported –- when it capsized.
Police are inspecting the boat, the life jacket and the rigging.