Hero Down: Secret Service Special Agent Stephanie Hancock Dies While Kayaking
Annapolis, MD – U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Stephanie Hancock died on June 29, after her kayak capsized while she was recreating with her boyfriend on Spa Creek.
Agent Hancock, 39, disappeared at approximately 3:20 p.m., after she fell into the water where the Severn River meets the creek near Horn Point, the Capital Gazette reported.
The reason for the kayak capsizing is unknown, and Angent Hancock and her boyfriend were not wearing life vests at the time, officials said.
“They’re not the most stable boats,” Natural Resources Police Captain Melissa Scarborough explained. “I don’t know that there is going to be any special, absolute cause. It may be the nature of the boat, and it just happened.”
Three other people also died in marine-related incidents in the Anne Arundel County area over the weekend.
“The fact is, life jackets save lives,” Capt. Scarborough told WJZ.
After the veteran Secret Service agent fell overboard, her boyfriend abandoned his kayak and dove underwater in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue her, Capt. Scarborough said, according to the Capital Gazette.
Mickey Lawlor, the captain of a passenger boat, was just finishing a tour when he spotted the capsized kayak, the Capital Gazette reported.
Lawlor veered out of his way to investigate, and found Agent Hancock’s frantic boyfriend in the water.
The boyfriend screamed at Lawlor to call 911, at which point the captain alerted police and other nearby water vessels.
Within 10 minutes, rescue crews from the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, the Natural Resources Police, and the Coast Guard arrived in the area to rescue Agent Hancock’s boyfriend and another Good Samaritan who was trying to help him.
They began searching the water for the missing agent, but were forced to stop at approximately 5:20 p.m. due to severe weather.
About an hour later, crews returned to the water, and ultimately recovered Agent Hancock’s body at approximately 9:30 p.m.
Agent Hancock, a 12-year veteran of the agency, was last assigned to the Presidential Protective Detail, the U.S. Secret Service said in a statement to WJZ.
“Our condolences, as well as our thoughts and prayers, are with the family of Special Agent Hancock,” the agency’s statement read.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Stephanie Hancock, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.