Quick Action By Responding Officer Key In Boat Accident

OCEAN CITY — Quick action by a Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) officer responding to the second boating accident in the bay behind Ocean City in as many weeks likely helped save a man from bleeding to death.

Around 4 p.m. on Saturday, NRP officers responded to a reported boating accident in the Isle of Wight Bay. The investigation revealed a rental pontoon boat ran aground in the Isle of Wight Bay. When NRP officers arrived on scene, seven people were in the water, including an unidentified man who was bleeding profusely from a gash on his arm created by the boat’s propeller and another passenger who was hanging onto a moving boat.

An NRP officer recognized the victim’s wound as severed artery and applied a Combat Application Tourniquet to staunch the flow of blood until the victim could be taken to shore. Ocean City first-responders then took the victim from Bahia Marina to Atlantic General Hospital for treatment. The operator of the boat, identified as Seth Murray Wilson, 21, of Millsboro, Del., was arrested after failing field sobriety tests and refused a breathalyzer test. A court date for Wilson has not yet been set.

Saturday’s boating accident involving a rented pontoon was the second in as many weeks.

On Saturday, July 30, a New Jersey woman was standing on the bow of a rented pontoon boat underway when the vessel hit a wake and she tumbled overboard. The victim was struck by the boat’s propeller and suffered severe injuries to her face and leg before she was rescued by another passenger on the boat.

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According to the NRP, the victim was not wearing a life jacket and could not swim. She was taken first to PRMC in Salisbury and later transferred to Penn Hospital in New Jersey for specialized treatment. Her condition has not been updated. In that case, the rented boat’s operator was also charged with negligent operation of the vessel.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.