Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police respond to multiple boating accidents
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police respond to multiple boating accidents, address safety violations
DOVER (Aug. 19, 2016) – During the two-week period Aug. 1-14, DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police marine patrols statewide investigated seven boating accidents and issued numerous boating safety-related citations to help keep Delaware waterways safer for boaters.
- On Aug. 13, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police conducting a routine vessel safety and fisheries compliance check cited Stephen J. Healy III, 56, of Townsend, for operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol, operating a vessel with an expired registration, no navigation lights, no sound-producing device and no fire extinguisher at the Woodland Beach Boat Ramp east of Smyrna. Healy was given a mandatory appearance at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover at a later date.
- On Aug. 12, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police investigated a boating accident with injuries near Pot-Nets Bayside near Long Neck, in which a personal watercraft (PWC) overturned in rough waters, ejecting the operator and passenger. The passenger was treated for a dislocated ankle at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes. The operator, who was not injured, was not cited in the incident.
- On Aug. 12, Peter A. Bailey, 60, of Milton, was cited for negligent operation of a personal watercraft, causing an accident, and failure to observe a slow-no-wake zone on Rehoboth Bay. The PWC struck a pontoon boat, causing approximately $1,500 in damages. No injuries were reported. Bailey was fined $107, including court costs.
- On Aug. 8, Benard W. Sparenberg, 51, of Seaford, was cited for operating a vessel under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the Lewes Public Boat Ramp. Sparenberg was given a mandatory appearance at Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown at a later date.
On Aug. 8, Ricky Riordan, 64, of Fort Myers, Fla., was cited for careless operation of a vessel. The 51-foot vessel collided with the Reedy Island jetty near the town of Augustine. No injuries were reported to the operator or passenger. Riordan was fined $107, including court costs.
- On Aug. 8, Anthony Black, 30, of New Castle, was cited for inattentive operation of a vessel. The 17-foot vessel collided with the Pea Patch Island jetty. No injuries were reported to the operator or four passengers, who were transported along with the vessel to Delaware City. Black was fined $107, including court costs.
- On Aug. 8, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police responded to a report of a 36-foot sailboat on fire in the C&D Canal near St. Georges. Delaware City Fire Company arrived on scene and suppressed the flames, and the vessel’s two occupants escaped without injury. The incident remains under investigation.
- On Aug. 7, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police responded to a report of an overturned vessel in the Delaware Bay south of Augustine Beach. The 16-foot vessel capsized when its trot line became entangled with a commercial crab pot. The vessel’s two occupants clung to the overturned vessel for approximately two-and-a-half hours before they were rescued by the Delaware City Fire Company’s marine unit near the Smyrna River. No injuries were reported and no citations were issued in the incident.
- On Aug. 7, Jamie L. Bieller, 33, of Parkville, Md., was cited for careless operation of a vessel and no boating safety education certificate. The 14-foot vessel capsized in the C&D Canal. No injuries were reported to the operator or passenger, who were rescued by the Port Penn Volunteer Fire Company. Bieller was fined $214, including court costs.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind boaters that they are legally required to report boating accidents when:
- A person dies;
- A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid;
- Damage to the vessel and other property totals more than $500; or
- A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury.
To report a boating accident, please contact Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 800-523-3336 or 302-739-4580.
Boaters navigating Delaware waters also are reminded that operating a boat with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher is in violation of Delaware and federal laws. Boat operators found to be at or above the limit will find their voyage terminated, will be cited and may have their vessel impounded. Boat operators found to be under the influence also can face fines and potential jail time.
For more information on safe boating practices and regulations, please visit Delaware Boating Safety.
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish, wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at http://de.gov/ogt.