Miss­ing boater’s death ruled ac­ci­den­tal drowning

Dorchester Star - - REGIONAL - By AN­GELA PRICE bay­[email protected]­times.com

CEN­TRE­VILLE — The Of­fice of the Chief Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner in Bal­ti­more has ruled Stephanie Mered­ith’s death an ac­ci­den­tal drowning, said Bruce Gold­farb, pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer for the med­i­cal ex­am­iner’s of­fice, Wed­nes­day, July 18. Mered­ith, 35, of Eas­ton, went miss­ing near the con­flu­ence of the Ch­ester and Cor­sica rivers Fri­day, July 13, when the log ca­noe she was helping sail cap­sized.

Her body was found by a good Samar­i­tan on a boat around 8:30 a.m. Sun­day, July 15, in the Ch­ester River in Com­egys Bight, ac­cord­ing to Mary­land Nat­u­ral Re­sources Po­lice spokesman Candy Thomson. She de­clined to name the boater who found Mered­ith, say­ing only it was a lo­cal home­owner.

The 32-foot log ca­noe Mys­tery was un­der sail off Spa­niard Point when it cap­sized about 7:50 p.m. July 13, with 17 peo­ple on board. Six­teen mem­bers of the crew were res­cued with­out in­jur y Fri­day night, but Mered­ith was miss­ing.

Mered­ith was not wear­ing a life jacket, Thomson said.

In Mered­ith’s obit­u­ary, her fam­ily wrote, “We are grate­ful that her pass­ing oc­curred while do­ing what she loved, with the per­son she loved — sail­ing on the river. Stephanie’s boyfriend, Peter Corn­well in­tro­duced her to the love of be­ing on the wa­ter — with no ap­pre­hen­sion; Stephanie quickly de­cided to par­take in such ad­ven­tures. The last year and a half of Stephanie’s life was noth­ing but pure joy.”

They said Mered­ith was part of the re­cov­ery com­mu­nity in Eas­ton and re­cently cel­e­brated 18 months clean. She was a com­mu­nity ad­vo­cate for oth­ers in re­cov­ery. In lieu of flow­ers, the fam­ily asks that do­na­tions be made to the SLM Re­cov­ery Fund through the Ad­dic­tions Min­istry at Christ Church to con­tinue that work.

“Stephanie found her love of Christ and an amaz­ing con­nec­tion with God when she was in­tro­duced to her fam­ily at Christ Church Eas­ton. Her life was trans­formed sim­ply due to her spir­i­tual jour­ney of which she flour­ished,” the fam­ily said in her obit­u­ary. “Stephanie was a Chris­tian whom led the way for so many oth­ers, an amaz­ing light beam­ing with the love of Christ and a singer of praise mu­sic on Satur­days with the Alive at Five band, all of which brought her so much joy.”

A former teacher, Mered­ith’s other pas­sion was teach­ing and be­ing around chil­dren, they wrote. She pre­vi­ously taught first grade at Hur­lock El­e­men­tary. She was em­ployed by Chop­tank Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems, work­ing in the Eas­ton Pe­di­atrics of­fice, at the time of her death.

A me­mo­rial ser­vice is planned for 5 p.m. Satur­day, July 21, at Christ Church, 111 S. Har­ri­son Street, Eas­ton.

STEPHANIE MERED­ITH

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