Rented Pontoon Capsizes With 15 On Board

Rented Pontoon Capsizes With 15 On Board
Photo by Finn McCabe

OCEAN CITY — A rented pontoon boat capsized near the Route 50 Bridge Thursday sending all 15 passengers into the bay.

Around 1 p.m. on Thursday, Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) received a call for a capsized pontoon boat near the bridge. The boat was reportedly rated for 16 passengers and was carrying 15, all of whom ended up in the water.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded, and with the help of other boaters in the area, successfully pulled all 15 passengers from the water. One victim was transported to Atlantic General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and was released. None of the other passengers required medical attention.

According to one witness, the rented 22-foot pontoon boat nearly collided with another vessel and it capsized when the operator over-corrected to avoid a collision. The swift current in that area near the bridge carried the pontoon boat into the bridge pilings.

Escorted by the NRP, Two Boat US towed the overturned pontoon boat into the commercial harbor in West Ocean City. Several private citizens assisted in righting the pontoon and collecting the furniture and other flotsam and jetsam from the damaged vessel from the harbor.

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.