Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Fish and Wildlife Enforcement investigates two weekend jet ski accidents
Lewes man faces felony charges for incident in which bystander was injured;
Dover man cited in second accident with injuries
GEORGETOWN (Aug. 7, 2012) – Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents investigated two separate jet ski accidents over the weekend.
· On Aug. 3, agents arrested Keith T. Purdy, 56, of Lewes and charged him with first degree felony assault with a vessel, five counts of second degree reckless endangering, operating under the influence, inattentive operation of a vessel, failing to maintain a proper lookout, negligent operation of a vessel, excessive speed within 300 feet of a swimmer, and vessel excessive speed violation. The charges were in connection with a boating accident on Rehoboth Bay near Masseys Landing in which a jet ski struck a person standing on a sandbar. The victim was transported to Beebe Medical Center in Lewes for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Purdy was released on $7,000 unsecured bond pending a future court date.
· On Aug. 4, agents cited Micheal A. Martin, 33, of Dover, for negligent operation of a vessel, failure to maintain a proper lookout, no boating education certificate, and vessel excessive speed violation. The charges were in connection with a boating accident near Gull Point, Indian River, in which two jet skis collided, injuring the other operator. The victim was transported to Beebe Medical Center in Lewes with serious physical injuries. An Aug. 11 court date is set for Martin.
Jet skis, also known as personal watercraft (PWC), are subject to the same rules and requirements as any other vessel in Delaware waters, noted Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of the Delaware Boating Safety Office.
“Especially in congested areas, jet ski operators need to slow down, and keep a lookout for vessels and other possible hazards to themselves and others,” Rhodes said.
Other safety tips for PWC operators include:
· PWCs have no brakes and operators should allow plenty of room for stopping or maneuvering.
· Releasing the throttle or shutting off the engine results in no steering control.
· Jumping the wake of another boat or riding too close to another PWC or boat creates safety risks and, depending on the location, is restricted or prohibited in Delaware.
Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580.
Vol. 42, No. 294