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Officers Investigate Boat Fire, Charge Impaired Boater and Illegal Angler

Photo of the boat in flamesMaryland Natural Resources Police officers investigated an Eastern Shore boat fire, arrested a man for impaired boating in Washington County and charged another man with illegal striped bass fishing at a state park in incidents this past weekend.

Photo of the charred boat The ignition of gasoline or gasoline vapors was the likely cause of a fire early Friday morning that badly damaged a 38-foot workboat moored at a Somerset County boatyard.

The fire at the Webster Cove Marina in Princess Anne was reported shortly before 6 a.m. The boat owner, Caleb Nock, 20, of Princess Anne, told officers he started his vessel, Lucky Lady, to go out oystering and began pulling out of his slip at the marina, when the engine box caught fire and exploded.

Nock climbed off the vessel onto the bulkhead. He was uninjured.

The vessel drifted into an unoccupied boat slip where it became fully engulfed in flames. The dock piling and wooden planks were destroyed.

Another waterman made sure no one else was in harm’s way and called for help. It took the Mount Vernon Volunteer Fire Department about 20 minutes to extinguish the flames.

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A Washington County man was arrested Sunday morning and charged with impaired boating on Blairs Valley Lake.

Jason Michael Nee, 35, of Williamsport, received three citations for operating his fishing boat while under the influence and a single citation for failing to have required safety equipment aboard his vessel.

Acting on a citizen’s call, officers and a Maryland State trooper launched a patrol boat and intercepted Nee’s boat. Officers noticed that Nee’s eyes were glassy, his speech was slurred and he smelled of alcohol.

Nee told officers that he had stopped drinking about seven hours earlier and had taken a prescription medication about three hours earlier.

The vessel was towed to shore and Nee was given standard field sobriety tests. He refused a breathalyzer test.

Nee was released to the custody of a friend to be driven home. A court date has not been set. If found guilty of all charges, Nee could be jailed for up to 16 months and be fined as much as $2,500.

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On Saturday, a Virginia man received a citation for fishing for striped bass in a closed area at Susquehanna State Park in Havre De Grace.

An officer on patrol saw Alex Andrew Field, 29, of Virginia Beach, fishing at about 9:30 p.m. on Stafford Road near the Rock Run grist mill.

A hearing date is scheduled for April 27 in Harford District Court, where Field could be fined as much as $375. Last May, Field was found guilty in Cecil District Court of catching striped bass in a closed area and was fined $227.


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