D.C. 911 operators mistakenly sent rescue crews to the wrong location while coordinating efforts to find three men who drowned in the Potomac River, officials said Saturday.
Audio obtained by News4 reveals dispatchers sent D.C. Fire and EMS ground units to the wrong marina more than four miles from the scene where Mustafa Haidar, 26, Ahmad “Johnny” Noory, 28, and Omid Rabani, 23, fell off a boat into the water in the area of Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling on Aug. 2. The bodies of the three men were found days later, police said.
Fire boat operators were at Capital Cove Marina calling for land-based backup, but 911 operators at the Office of Unified Communication sent all of the requested resources to the Anacostia Community Boathouse at 1900 M Street SE, which is a 13 minute drive from the scene, according to the audio.
It is unclear how long it took first responders to realize they were at the wrong location.
The Office of Unified Communication confirmed to News4 that it is investigating the incident, which was first reported by Dave Statter of STATter911 Communications.
Below is a statement from the Office of Unified Communication:
"On the evening of 8/2, FEMS fireboats and MPD’s harbor division responded to the scene of a maritime radio distress call. The FEMS fireboat officer notified the OUC dispatcher of the boat collision. Approximately 15 minutes later, FEMS requested that additional resources be sent to the Capital Cove Marina @Joint Base Anacostia Bolling. In error, the additional resources were dispatched to the Anacostia Marina instead. The dispatcher continued to monitor the incident and subsequently corrected the dispatch location to the Capital Cove Marina. The incident is under investigation."