Man Dies After Being Struck by Boat's Propeller

Lewis Jack Sprouse, 29, was using a trotline when his leg became tangled and he fell overboard.

A Harwood man died in the Patuxent River Sunday morning when he fell overboard and struck a boat’s propeller after getting his leg caught in a trotline, according to the Maryland Naturals Resource Police (NRP).

NRP said 29-year-old Lewis Jack Sprouse, of Harwood was using a trotline for crabs when his foot got tangled in the line, which pulled him overboard.

Witnesses told police they saw the boat going around in circles but then came to a stop after Sprouse’s body hit the propeller, stalling the engine. Sprouse and his boat, a 17-foot Mako, were in the Patuxent River just one mile south of Sheridan Point.

NRP responded to the scene at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday and used a dive team to recover Sprouse’s body with the help of the Benedict Volunteer Fire Department, according to the release. The body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy, NRP said. 

Lenny Rudow September 11, 2012 at 05:18 PM
The headline for this article is inaccurate. NRP has not yet determined if he died from drowining, the propeller strike, a heart attack, or otherwise.
Jonathan Moynihan September 11, 2012 at 05:49 PM
That's a good point Lenny. My mistake. I've adjusted the headline to reflect that.
RBurch September 11, 2012 at 05:53 PM
My heart goes out to all of the family members of this young man ... I am so sorry for your loss. My father-in-law was the one that saw his boat going in circles and tried to help him. According to him, Lewis was alive and struggling to stay above water even after the propeller hit him. He was so entangled and being pulled down by the lines/weights that they couldn't free him. It's a tragic event that is so sad for everyone ... I just keep reminding myself that for some reason he was called by God early. A reason no one may ever understand ...rest in peace and may God lift the pain felt by all.
Melissa B. September 14, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Louie was a great person, always had a big smile on his face. Everyone loved Louie including myself. He will be missed by many. RIP Louie
AB September 16, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Thank you rburch for clarifying this for me. I am Louie's sister and I was given misinformation. The loss we feel as a family is devastating. I know your father-in-law did his best to try to help my brother. I thank him from the bottom of my heart for doing all he could.


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