Chestertown boater missing

A man is missing after he jumped into the Chester River to rescue his nephew, who got caught up in a current.

Maryland Natural Resources Police said the search for James Joseph Schmidt was unsuccessful Wednesday and will resume at first light. The 47-year-old Millington man was fishing with his nephew, Aiden Smith, and the boy’s grandfather, Charles Belvins.

The boy was cooling off in the water while holding on to the vessel the three were using when he was swept away by a current. Schmidt jumped in to rescue the 7-year-old, but was also caught in the current.

The 64-year-old grandfather called 911. An officer drove out to him in a patrol boat.

Police say Cpl. Chris Pavon quickly located the boy, who was having trouble keeping his head above water. He was about a quarter of a mile downriver from the vessel. Pavon fished the boy out of the water and took him to shore. He was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

The search for the uncle began with divers, vessels and from the air. Despite a search until sunset, Maryland police, Coast Guard, and fire companies from Chestertown, Kennedyville, Crumpton and Kent County were unable to find Schmidt.