Area police using boats and helicopters continued their search yesterday for an 18-year-old GeorgetownUniversity freshman who was apparently drowned Thursday after the canoe he was in capsized in the Potomac River near Chain Bridge.
Police identified the missing youth as Joseph P. Corrigan, 18, of Cleveland. Two other 18-year-old Georgetown freshman -- Francisco J. Menendez and Roberto M. Cellini-- were in the canoe when it capsized and swam to shore.
Menendez said yesterday that the three youths borrowed a canoe from a friend and set out from Key Bridge. They padled up the C & O Canal and then moved into the river where the canoe capsized in fast water, he said.
The three, none of whom had on a lifejacket, tried to swim against the current to shore about 40 feet away. Menendez and Cellini made it to a point near Chain Bridge and called for help.
Police who responded in a helicopter said they spotted the missing youth at one point clinging to a rock, but he went under before boaters could reach him.
By afternoon yesterday, boaters endedthe search because of the current. "It's too hazardous," said Sgt. Paul Porter of the D.C. Harbor Patrol. "We had an 85-horse-power boat and it couldn't move. We couldn't get as far as Chain Bridge."
Porter said the surface search would be resumed when currents subside and the high water currently running in the river recedes.
Harbor Patrol Officer John Fitzgerald said the point where the youths' canoe capsized is one of the most dangerous on the river. "The water," he said, "comes through like it's coming out of a gun."
Police also warned that life jackets are required gear for boaters in that part of the river.