OCEAN CITY – The waters around the resort area were teeming with vessels of all shapes and sizes this week, but a few unlucky boaters got more pain then pleasure from their excursions.
With thousands of boats, personal watercraft and practically every other type of vessels out in the ocean and back bays this week, the traffic on the water was just as bad as it was on the highways. Like the highways, there were more than a few fender benders on the water over the last week or so including some serious.
For example, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) last Friday rescued two men stranded in the bay for three hours after the personal watercraft they were riding became disabled. On Friday, June 29, at 11 p.m., NRP officers rescued two western shore men from the waters of the Isle of Wight Bay near Ocean Pines. Stephen Trancucci, of Bel Air, and Joshua Dresher, of Abingdon, both 28, were operating a personal watercraft (PWC) in the area when the craft became disabled around 8 p.m.
NRP was patrolling the area and observed an unidentified radar contact approximately one-half mile due east of the Pines Point Marina. No visible navigation lights could be seen in the area of the radar contact so the NRP patrol vessel altered course and initiated a search of the area with a spotlight.
Both men told officers that they had been drifting in the Isle of Wight Bay since approximately 8 p.m. The men stated that on several occasions they attempted to gain the attention of passing boaters by waving their lifejackets in the air and blowing their whistle. However, their distress signals went unnoticed. NRP transported the men and their disabled PWC safely back to their residence located in the area of 32nd Street off Isle of Wight Bay.
Two days later, a jet ski carrying three people collided with a piling at 52nd Street and the bay. Residents from the neighboring trailer park heard the victims’ screams for assistance and contacted the authorities. As Ocean City Emergency Services personnel responded, civilians removed the victims from the water. Only one person was transported to the hospital with a leg injury. NRP and OCPD officials remained on the scene to investigate the incident.
NRP officials remind boaters to keep a sharp look out while enjoying local waterways for hazards to navigation, regular boating traffic or boaters in need of assistance. NRP also remind vessel operators that carrying emergency distress signaling devices beyond those called for by federal and state regulations could be a welcomed and useful addition to their safety equipment.