Contact: Cpl. John McDerby, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson or Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Claymont man cited for negligence in boating accident after
he and a second duck hunter reach safety in perilous situation
Fish & Wildlife Enforcement urges safety precautions for winter boaters and waterfowlers
DOVER (Jan. 16, 2015) – DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police officers cited a Claymont man following a boating accident this morning in a marshy area off the Christina River near Wilmington that took two duck hunters on a harrowing course and threw them into icy waters before they managed to get to safe ground.
According to Fish & Wildlife Enforcement, Jacin L. Allen, 27, and a companion were setting decoys from their 12-foot boat when the tide swept the boat and both occupants into a large concrete culvert. The boat was pulled through the culvert, then swamped and capsized, dumping the two men into an adjoining pond. The hunters were able to climb out of the water and flag down assistance on nearby Route 495. Allen was later cited for negligent operation of a vessel and operating an unregistered motor vessel, and faces fines of $100. Neither he nor his companion on the hunting trip were wearing life jackets when the boat capsized.
“Duck hunters with boats for waterfowling are urged to use caution in tidal waters, especially near culverts and tide control gates, a combination with the tide that can suck a vessel inside and lead to this type of accident,” said Cpl. John McDerby of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement. “This time of year, waterfowlers using a boat for hunting also should watch ice conditions and currents carefully to avoid becoming locked in by ice, which can complicate rescue efforts. We also strongly encourage wearing life jackets while hunting from a vessel, especially in winter conditions.”
Immersion in cold water can lead very quickly to life-threatening hypothermia, in which the body instinctively protects its core by shutting down blood flow to limbs first, Cpl. McDerby noted. When going onto the water in winter, the U.S. Coast Guard recommends wearing layers for protection and warmth, including gloves and a hat. Recommended gear also includes three types of protective clothing to reduce risk: flotation coats, which double as life jackets but may not protect against hypothermia if the wearer falls into cold water; immersion or survival suits, which can increase survival time in cold water; or a dry suit, worn for intentional entry into cold water to keep water out and, with thermal layers beneath, keep warmth in.
For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, including Delaware’s boating safety education courses, please visit Delaware_Boating Safety on the Division of Fish & Wildlife website.
The DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/OpGameTheft.aspx.
Vol. 45, No. 12