Two crew boats loaded with rowers overturned on the Potomac River Wednesday afternoon.
The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. near Hains Point in the Washington Channel. About 20 rowers from the crew team at McLean High School in Virginia were dumped into the water.
Fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said that rescue crews were able to respond quickly. The fire boat John Glenn was in the area and was the first to arrive at the scene.
Some of the rowers were able to swim to shore, but many were pulled from the river by rescuers aboard fire boats. Emergency medical staff was on the shore ready to treat for hypothermia or other injuries.
Authorities said the victims were in the water for 15 minutes. Water in the Potomac River at the end of winter is typically 40 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.