Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Fish & Wildlife Enforcement, 302-542-6102 or 302-739-9913, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Lincoln man dies after boating accident near Seaford
SEAFORD (April 21, 2012) – DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents are investigating a fatal accident that claimed the life of a Lincoln man after two boats collided Saturday morning on the Nanticoke River near Seaford.
The dead man was identified as Robert M. Messick, 56. He was a passenger in a boat struck from behind by another boat not long after both vessels left the Seaford public boat ramp around 9 a.m. to participate in a fishing tournament put on by a local bass fishing club.
Four men were aboard the two boats involved in the collision, according to Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement spokesman. Mr. Messick was a passenger on a boat operated by Phillip G. Craft, 63, of Seaford. The second boat was operated by Kevin Pase, 51, of Milford, with William T. Scharf, 55, of Seaford, as his passenger.
According to the accident report, at about 9:15 a.m., Mr. Craft’s boat slowed and turned to avoid a log in the water as it approached the Route 13 bridge near Seaford. As the boat throttled down, it was struck from the rear by Mr. Pase’s boat, ejecting Mr. Messick into the water. Mr. Messick, a non-swimmer who was not wearing a life jacket, did not resurface, Sgt. Rhodes said.
Several hours later Seaford Fire Department divers located Mr. Messick in the river and he was pronounced dead by Sussex County Emergency Medical Services at the scene, Sgt. Rhodes said. Cause of death is pending the report from the Delaware Medical Examiner’s Office.
Mr. Craft was transported to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported.
Fish and Wildlife Enforcement’s investigation of the accident is continuing, with charges pending, Sgt. Rhodes said.
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Enforcement Section is charged with achieving public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety.
Vol. 42, No. 147