Skip to Main Content

Officers Rescue Injured Boater; Arrest Three for Impairment

Maryland Natural Resources PoliceMaryland Natural Resources Police officers rescued an injured boater, arrested an impaired boater and driver, and won convictions in two fisheries cases over the past week.

Quick action by an officer responding to a boating accident in Ocean City on Saturday helped save a man from bleeding to death.

When officers arrived at the scene in Isle of Wight Bay at about 4 p.m., seven people were in the water around a rental pontoon boat that had run aground. One man was bleeding profusely from a gash on his arm created by the boat’s propeller and another passenger was hanging onto a nearby moving boat.

As rescuers gathered up those in the water, an officer saw the injured man struggling and recognized the wound as a severed artery. He applied a Combat Application Tourniquet to stanch the flow until the victim could be taken ashore. Ocean City first responders took him from Bahia Marina to Atlantic General Hospital for treatment.

Seth Murray Wilson, 21, of Millsboro, Del., the operator of the boat, was arrested after he failed field sobriety tests. He refused a breathalyzer test. A court date has not been set.

A Pennsylvania man was arrested for drunk driving Sunday after an officer on patrol in Garrett County noticed erratic behavior.

John Joseph Wilson, 26, of North Huntingdon, stopped for an extended period at a flashing red light on Route 219 in McHenry, signaled a left turn and then turned right, drove on a raised portion of the road separating turn lanes and crossed over the yellow center line.

Wilson failed field sobriety tests and refused to take a breathalyzer test. He was charged with two counts of impaired operation and one count of failing to drive right of the center line.

A court date has not been set. If found guilty of all charges, Wilson could be fined as much as $2,500.

Also on Sunday, an officer on patrol on Deep Creek Lake arrested a Pennsylvania man and charged him with three counts of impaired boating and one count of negligent operation.

Kirk John Bittel, 36, of Pittsburgh, was stopped near the Glendale Bridge after an officer saw a passenger hanging off the stern of a moving boat, trying to grab a loose rope.

Bittel failed field sobriety tests and registered a blood alcohol content of .10 on the breathalyzer test; the legal limit is .08.

He is scheduled to appear in Garrett County District Court on Oct. 19.

A St. Mary’s County man had his commercial oyster license revoked after he was convicted last Thursday of harvesting oysters from polluted waters.

Andrew Phillip Nelson, 20, of Hollywood, was charged in May with catching oysters from St. Inigoes Creek off the St. Mary’s River, an area closed to harvesting by the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Officers on saturation patrol saw Nelson hand tonging in the headwaters of the creek and intercepted him as he returned to shore. They seized 11 bushels of oysters.

In addition to revoking Nelson’s commercial license, a St. Mary’s County District Court judge sentenced Nelson to three year’s unsupervised probation.

A Baltimore County waterman was convicted last Wednesday of seven charges in connection with illegal yellow perch fishing in the Gunpowder River.

John James Messenger, 40 of Middle River, was cited in March after officers found illegal fyke nets in Foster Branch and Joppatown Canal. In addition, they found that Messenger was violating the terms of a department pilot program to tag and track commercial catches.

A Harford County District Court judge found Messenger guilty of two counts of having a net set more than one-third of the width of a waterway, one count of failing to have his identification number on his vessel, two counts of not marking his nets, one count of setting his nets in a restricted area and one count of failing to comply with the terms of the Fishing Activity and Catch Tracking System.

Messenger was fined $850.