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Natural Resources Police Investigate Boat Fire, Charge Illegal Hunter

Burned Boat, Jennifer Lynn

Burned Boat, Jennifer Lynn

Maryland Natural Resources Police officers investigated a boat fire in Talbot County and charged an Allegany County man with illegal hunting in two cases this week.

On Wednesday morning, officers responded to a report of a boat fire at the county dock in Neavitt.

Despite quick response by local volunteer fire companies from St. Michaels and Tilghman, the cabin and contents of the wooden work boat owned by Jeffery Lynn Baker of Kennedyville were destroyed.

Baker told officers that he started his 29-foot vessel, named “Jennifer Lynn,” at around 7:30 a.m. as he prepared to harvest oysters. About 25 minutes later, he noticed flames coming from the engine box.

Baker jumped onboard with a fire extinguisher as he tried to save his boat. Nearby waterman rushed to help but were forced back as the vessel was engulfed in flames.

Baker did not require medical attention. The fire caused minor damage to two vessels docked next to the “Jennifer Lynn.” The fire also burned portions of the dock and bulkhead.

John Aaron Kalbaugh, 34, of Mount Savage was charged with hunting in a closed season and for failing to possess his hunting license. He also was issued two written warnings for failure to have a secondary identification and hunting without written permission in possession.

Acting on a tip, an officer saw a man hunting with a crossbow from an empty log cabin. When he got up to leave 30 minutes after sunset, the officer approached.

Kalbaugh said he was hunting on a friend’s land, but admitted he did not know that Sunday hunting was prohibited. He also did not have identification, his hunting license and written permission from the landowner with him.

The landowner confirmed to the officer that Kalbaugh had permission to hunt.

Kalbaugh is scheduled to appear in Allegany District Court on March 4. If found guilty of both violations, he faces a maximum fine of $3,000.