OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was seriously injured after diving from a pontoon boat into shallow water in the Isle of Wight Bay on Tuesday and had to be transported via Maryland State Police helicopter to Shock Trauma in Baltimore.
Around 5:50 p.m. on Tuesday, seven people in a rented pontoon boat left Seacrets to return the vessel to the rental dock when one of the individuals, identified as Kiefer Eugene Kuhn, 23, of Dover, Pa., dove headfirst into shallow water. According to Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) spokesperson Candus Thomson, while the vessel was slowing to a halt, Kuhn dove overboard, hit his head and neck in shallow water and suffered apparent spinal injuries.
Thomson said the other individuals on the pontoon boat could see Kuhn floating and not moving in the water and hauled Kuhn back onto the boat. One of the other individuals on the vessel was a nurse and provided initial treatment while the pontoon headed back to port. Kuhn was reportedly unresponsive and had trouble moving his limbs.
The others on the boat called 911 and proceeded to the pier at Hooper’s Crab House where the vessel was met by Ocean City Emergency Services. Kuhn was transported via ambulance to the Ocean City Municipal Airport in West Ocean City where the MSP Trooper 4 helicopter was waiting. The MSP medevac helicopter then transported Kuhn to Shock Trauma in Baltimore. According to Thomson, Kuhn suffered an apparent spinal injury and had numbness and tingling in his extremities.
As part of the investigation, NRP officers interviewed all of the other passengers on the pontoon boat. According to Thomson, two of the individuals said they had operated the vessel at different times during the afternoon excursion. Those two individuals were administered field sobriety tests and were later taken to the MSP Berlin barrack where they submitted to breath-alcohol tests. The investigation is ongoing and charges could be applied pending the results of the breath-alcohol tests. The condition of the victim following his transportation to Shock Trauma in not known.