updated 3/14/2004 7:06:36 PM ET 2004-03-15T00:06:36

The bodies of two of the three passengers missing since a water taxi capsized eight days ago were pulled Sunday from the murky waters of the city’s Inner Harbor, officials said.

Crews planned to search for the remaining missing passenger until dark.

The bodies of Andrew Roccella, 26, of Virginia, and 6-year-old Daniel Bentrem, of Harrisonburg, Va., were recovered Sunday afternoon, said Fire Chief William Goodwin.

The discovery “will allow the families to have their grieving time, their funerals,” Goodwin said.

Corinne Schillings, 26, of Alexandria, Va., who planned to marry Roccella, remained missing.

“I feel we will be successful in that third attempt, finding Corinne, and then our job will be complete,” Goodwin said.

The bodies were found “a couple hundred feet” from where the survivors were rescued, he said.

The Seaport Taxi flipped over March 5 in a sudden thunderstorm with wind gusts up to 55 miles per hour, sending all 25 people on board into chilly, choppy water. Two died after they were rescued.

Detected by sonar
Sonar equipment detected the bodies Sunday. A robotic camera that swims through the water took video to confirm the discovery, Goodwin said.

Divers have struggled with cold and murky water, and no visibility on the harbor bottom.

“The weather was not cooperating, but it hasn’t the whole time,” Goodwin said, adding that the wind worked against crews on Sunday.

Strong gusts flipped the boat as the captain attempted to steer it to shore after receiving a radio warning of the storm. There were life jackets on board for everyone, but passengers are not required to wear them.

Crews identified the roof on the bottom of the harbor on Friday, but have yet to raise it, saying their priority was finding the missing passengers. After the roof is retrieved, it will be turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board for its investigation of the accident.

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