Body of missing fisherman Roger Grissom Sr. found on Virginia Eastern Shore
ACCOMACK, VA. — The body of missing fisherman Roger Grissom Sr., of Lusby, was found on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, by a waterfront homeowner in a marshy area of Accomack County, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, according to Maryland Natural Resources Police Spokeswoman Candy Thomson. The location was sixty-three miles from where the boat broke up in a storm.
Grissom and three other men were taking part in a fishing tournament and were on their way back to their home port when high winds associated with a major storm front, which had been well forecast by the National Weather Service, roared through the region and split apart their boat. The boat ripped apart in the area of White Point along the St. Mary’s County coastline south of St. Clements Island. The lone survivor was rescued from his perch on top of one section of the boat.
The two dead men were recovered several miles south of the scene near St. George’s Island in the Potomac River.
A cooler belonging to Grissom was found on the Eastern Shore. An extensive search was mounted several times by friends and joined by strangers too, to sweep any section of the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac shorelines where the body of the missing man may have settled in but to no avail.
“It was heartbreaking to tell the family when they called each week that we hadn’t yet discovered the body,” said Thomson. “The discovery of the body made the 17th boating fatality of 2016. Our twenty-year high was the year before when in 2015, 21 persons perished in boating accidents.”
Thomson said that the family of Grissom was notified before any public release of the news and that his body is being taken to the Virginia Medical Examiner in Norfolk for an autopsy on Feb. 13, 2017. The body was identified from a wallet in the dead man’s pocket.
UPDATE: Body found along the seawall at Point Lookout State Park is not that of the missing Roger Grissom Sr.
POINT LOOKOUT, MD. — Maryland Natural Ressources Police Spokeswoman Candy Thomson told THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY on Sunday Nov. 27, 2016, at 6 pm that the body found at Point Lookout State Park is not that of Roger Grissom Sr., who remains missing since being lost in a boat which broke apart on the Potomac River during a storm on Nov. 19, 2016. Grissom’s body has not yet been recovered and his boat was found 52 miles from where the disaster took place, which took the lives of three men. “The body was found by a photographer who was down at the park taking wildlife photos,” said Thomson
“The body was found by a photographer who was down at the park taking wildlife photos,” said Thomson
One man from the boat, Jay Downing, was found alive clinging to the wreckage. The boat, Reel Intimidator, had been a participant in a Rockfish Tournament and was returning to Cobb Island as a massive storm swept through the region.
The storm wrecked the boat, much like the storm, also well-forecast by NOAA on Dec. 5, 1993, which wrecked the El Toro II and resulted in the loss of three lives. Grissom’s cooler was found on Tangier Island on Nov. 26, 2016, according to Capt. Lee Tippett, who has been part of the search effort attempting to find the missing fisherman’s body.
The body of the man found at Point Lookout is that of a missing Prince Georges County man who apparently left his car at the park several weeks ago and disappeared. The Prince Georges County Police are working to notify the man’s family.
UPDATE: From Capt. Lee Tippett posted on Facebook page of missing fisherman Roger Grissom Sr.
Nov. 26, 2016 – Please all my friends and other fishermen be on the lookout for missing Roger Grissom Sr. .. boat was found at buoy 47 in the cut channel..his cooler was found on lower Tangier Island he could be anywhere from Potomac on down to the Eastern Shores of Virginia.
UPDATE: FRIENDS MOUNT SEARCH FOR MISSING FISHERMAN; UPDATED LOCATION OF MISHAP, LOCATION OF TWO FOUND DEAD AND SURVIVOR
From Posting on Facebook page of Roger Grissom
(Nov. 23, 2016) Some photos from today during our search for Roger Grissom Sr. We didn’t have much luck but it sounds like his boat has been found (roughly 52 miles away from where Jay was found) along with a few of his belongings. Maybe tomorrow will have better luck
From posting on Facebook page of Roger Grissom:
The people and texts and offers I’ve gotten over last few days to help Roger Grissom Sr. is amazing thank you all and God bless.
We are leaving at 7 am from Shymansky’s restaurant Cobb Island. Some of you are leaving from other ports and ramps please all be safe contact Lee Tippett at 2409259598 VHF 68. Coast Guard 16 emergency only.
We talked to the survivor today. The hull split at rub rail front of the boat; all had life jackets on. Jay says Roger Grissom let go a half hour or better before other two souls. We are thinking Steuart’s gas docks to Cornfield Harbor if washed ashore. If not he could be anywhere from buoy seven south in river or bay. Do what you can. I and his family and friends appreciate all your help. Smaller boats, please look at shore lines, perhaps under docks… some of bigger boats are pushing towards lower Potomac and Bay. Boat is still out there, so be careful.
I’m doing the best, and I can trying to keep up with all the messages, texts and calls. Please tag anyone who needs to be, and thanks to you all again.
Search efforts for Wednesday, November 23rd, and I’m doing best that I can so any and all info will be updated. This map location is all i have at this time .. the 2 souls found were at crab pot line at deep pt st George island. Roger Grissom Sr. could be anywhere from point of rescue to Pt. Lookout. I imagine on St Mary’s side of the river. Boat is also still missing. I will be on the Emma-Lisa boat with Franco Foraci leaving from Shymansky’s restaurant Cobb island. Will be on VHF 68. Smaller boats please look at the shoreline as you can reach the more shallow waters.
Please, everyone keep yourselves safe above all else. And again boat is still missing so carefully navigate
Thank you all for your time and efforts and support.
Capt.Lee Tippett 240 925 9598
WHITE POINT, MD. — Despite a well-forecast weather front with 55 mph gale force winds, a pleasure boat participating in a rockfish tournament got caught in the high winds sweeping across the region and flipped, killing two men and injuring one, leaving one man still missing. The Coast Guard reports helicopters and rescue boats were searching Sunday for one man south of White Point Beach on the lower Potomac River.
The Coast Guard and Maryland Natural Resources Police continued the search until near midnight as the temperature dipped into the 30s.
Four men were returning from a local fishing tournament Saturday in declining weather conditions.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region received several reports Saturday evening from friends and family of the boaters stating a 32-foot fishing vessel, Reel Intimidator, was taking on water and should have been moored up already.
Sector Maryland-NCR issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a 45-foot Response boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, to assist. Assets from Maryland State Police, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland Natural Resources Police, and St. Mary’s County Fire also launched to assist.
At approximately 6:30 a.m., on Nov. 20th, the MH-60 Jayhawk crew located the vessel overturned southeast of White Point Beach with one person on top of the hull. The boater was transferred to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. His condition is unknown. The boat was later believed to have sunk as the search party is being warned that the missing boat could provide yet another danger to this sad story should one of the search vessels strike it.
At approximately 8:50 a.m., a Coast Guard boat crew and good Samaritans located two boaters deceased.
Search efforts continue for one missing boater.
The Rockfish Tournament was sponsored by the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association and listed the 2016 Fall Classic on its website. Roger Grissom of the Reel Intimidator was one of those on board the vessel. The group canceled the last day of the events on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, due to “…extreme weather conditions”. A spring tournament listed Grissom as being from Cobb Island, Md. Authorities have not yet identified those on the boat.
On Roger Grissom’s Facebook page, family and friends stated that he is the missing man.
PLEASE PRAY. The MSSA fishing tournament was yesterday. These fine men were aboard the Reel Intimidator: Roger Grissom Sr., Keech Edelen, Gregg Moore & Jay Downing. Thankfully, Jay was found alive. Two bodies were recovered. The Coast Guard is still searching for the captain. They have family & friends who love them dearly, and will desperately need your prayers.