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Natural Resources Police Report Seven Boating Accidents During Holiday Weekend

Natural Resources Police LogoA Talbot County waterman died and seven boat accidents were reported across the state during the extended Labor Day holiday weekend, the Maryland Natural Resources Police said.

Stephen Robert Price, 53, of Trappe, died Monday morning after he apparently fell from a commercial boat he was working on and drowned. A citizen reported seeing a man’s body floating at the boat ramp on South Morris Street in Oxford about 8 a.m.

Another waterman said Price had been baiting crab trotlines before he went missing. Price’s cooler and shirt were found on the pier near the boat.

The body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Baltimore City for an autopsy. Foul play is not suspected.

The state did not have a boating-related fatality during the 2017 Labor Day holiday weekend and it recorded just five boating accidents that resulted in injury or property damage.

Rainy weather on the first day of the weekend reduced the level of boating activity. Officers arrested five people for operating under the influence of alcohol, down three from the previous year. A total of 405 citations were issued, an 11 percent drop, and 658 written warnings were issued, a decrease of 29 percent.

Officers conducted 1,180 free boat safety inspections, checked 3,905 anglers and interacted with 4,063 state land and park visitors.

A Frederick man was charged Friday with illegal fishing by officers checking anglers at the Matapeake Pier on Kent Island.

Jay Lewis Cullop, 54, received citations for exceeding the daily limit of summer flounder, possessing undersized summer flounder and possessing undersized striped bass.

Officers approached Cullop as he was packing up his gear and asked if he had caught any fish that day. He replied that he had caught fish the previous two days at the Romancoke Pier. When officers checked his cooler, they found the 15 undersized fish.

Cullop is scheduled to appear in Queen Anne’s County District Court Nov. 2. If found guilty, he could be fined as much as $1,000 for each violation.

A Virginia man faces trial in December for importing undersized crabs and attempting to sell them to a Salisbury seafood dealer.

Acting on a tip, officers stopped a truck being driven by John Dennis Diamond, 33, of Melfa, and found 32 bushels of male blue crabs inside. The driver stated that the crabs came from Virginia waters.

Officers measured the crabs and found that 19 bushels contained crabs that were less than the 5-inch minimum size in Virginia. Diamond was issued 19 citations and 278 undersized crabs were returned to the water.

Diamond is scheduled to appear in Wicomico County District Court Dec. 5. If found guilty, he could be fined as much as $1,000 on each count.

Officers conducting surveillance last week at the Kent Narrows Public Landing in Queen Anne’s County charged four men with illegal fishing.

Ignacio DeJesus Rivas Pereira, 35, of Silver Spring, received citations for possessing eight undersized striped bass and for exceeding the daily limit of two fish.

Pablo Velasquez Garcia, 36, of Adelphi, was charged with possessing 10 undersized black bass.

Elmer Alexander Lazo Parada, 35, and Daniel Arsides Lazo Parada, 29, both of Hyattsville, were each charged with possessing eight undersized striped bass and for exceeding the daily limit of two fish. They each were charged with littering on state waterways after approaching officers saw the men toss a plastic bag filled with fish overboard.

All four men are scheduled to appear in Queen Anne’s County District Court Oct. 19. Each illegal fishing citation carries a maximum fine of $1,000. The littering charge carries a pre-payable $125 fine.