The Coast Guard has called off a ship and helicopter search for a Northern Virginia Air Force major who was reported missing after a boating accident on Chesapeake Bay last Sunday.
The bodies of his son and another boy, both 12, were recovered from the bay near James Island on Wednesday by a Coast Guard helicopter, according to a Coast Guard spokesman.
The missing officer was identified as Maj. John D. Schafer, 37, of 5601 Mount Burnside Way, Burke, who is assigned to the Air Force secretary's office at the Pentagon.
The boys were identified as Scott Clark Schafer and Kenneth Brian Johnson, son of Navy Cmdr. and Mrs. Kenneth A. Johnson, 5609 Mount Burnside Way, Burke. The cause of the boys' deaths was drowning, according to a deputy of Maryland medical examiner.
Petty Officer Mike Waller, a Coast Guard spokesman in Baltimore, said yesterday the search was suspended "pending new developments."
Schafer's 25-foot cruiser was found capsized with a large hole in its hull Wednesday in Chesapeake Bay near Taylors Island, Waller said. Taylors Island in on Maryland's Eastern Shore across the bay from Calvert Cliffs. i
Waller said the cruiser apparently struck an as yet unidentified object. "It could have been a rock, a floating log -- we don't know," Waller said. "We have begun an investigation." The two dead boys were wearing life jackets and the cruiser was equipped with all required safety apparatus, Waller said.
The boating accident occurred while Schafer's cruiser was traveling from a marina on the Potomac River near Washington to another marina on the Magothy River, the Coast Guard spokesman said. The Magothy River enters the Chesapeake Bay north of Annapolis. The cruiser was due to arrive at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Coast Guard, Marine, Air Force and Navy ships and helicopters searched the bay area for more than 50 hours before the operation was suspended, Waller said.
The boys' bodies were first spotted Wednesday by a Navy harbor patrol, the spokesman said.