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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rental Company Owner Fined After Pleading Guilty In Fatal Pontoon Boat Incident

OCEAN CITY — A downtown Ocean City watersports rental company and its owner charged last year with numerous violations following the death of a nine-year-old boy who fell from a rented pontoon boat pleaded guilty this week and paid $320 in fines.

Following an investigation into a tragic incident last August when a boy fell from the bow of a rented pontoon boat and was fatally struck by the vessel’s propeller, Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) applied for charges in District Court in Worcester County against OC Watersports LLC and owner Tyler Barnes, who operated the watercraft rental operation near the base of the Route 50 Bridge at Talbot Street. The NRP’s application for charges was reviewed by a Worcester County District Court commissioner, who determined probable cause existed for the five charges.

Shortly before 3 p.m. last Aug. 17, the U.S. Coast Guard and NRP officers responded to a reported accident involving a rented pontoon boat in the Sinepuxent Bay behind Ocean City. The nine-year-old victim, who was riding on the vessel’s bow, fell overboard and was struck by the boat’s propeller and was seriously injured. The child later succumbed to injuries sustained from the propeller strike.



Anonymous said...

Shame but should put every business in oc on notice. You will pay for the stupidity of the morons who patronize your businesses!

Anonymous said...

Really??? $320 That's it? Rental company gives inexperienced people the keys to a boat with a short "boating course" and expects everything to be fine. Not a fan of regulations but renters should be required at minimum to have a CG safety course cert. no matter their age before renting a boat.

Anonymous said...

One may pay in the short term (state penalty), but the potential civil suit could be the end of one's career!! Yikes!

Anonymous said...

You guys talk like it is the business owner's fault that the child was killed. That's what is wrong with America - lack of personal responsibility and accountability! The business owner wasn't driving the boat and the business owner didn't let the child bow ride. Any neglect by the business owner had absolutely no impact on the outcome of this situation. The only thing that the business owner could have done to prevent this tragedy was to be driving the vessel himself. Period. End of story. The business owner could have done everything perfectly and provided every piece of safety equipment possible but that still couldn't have prevented the idiot operator from allowing the kid to bow ride in front of a boat that is being push by what is essentially a meat grinder. As a captain myself, I know that the operator of the vessel is responsible for his passengers at all time, not the person at the dock. The operator in this cause is responsible for that child's life - the blood is on his hands.

Anonymous said...

The business owner has no culpability in this other we live in a twisted world where there is no personal responsibility--they will sue the boat manufacturer next