Ocean City man charged in fatal boating accident

Posted at 9:12 PM, Jan 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-18 23:27:33-05

An Ocean City man has been charged with multiple boating violations in connection with an accident that lead to the death of a 9-year-old boy.

Tyler Barnes, 33, operates Ocean City Watersports LLC, which rented a pontoon boat to a New Jersey family in August. A boy, one of 17 people aboard the vessel, slipped off the bow of the boat and was struck multiple times by the propeller, killing him.

Barnes was charged with negligent operation of a vessel, two counts of failing to have required safety equipment on board, renting a boat lacking proper equipment and failing to keep records. A Worcester County District Court commissioner found probable cause Tuesday and issued a criminal summons.

Kaden Frederick was one of four people sitting with their legs dangling from the front of the boat as it traveled in Sinepuxent Bay. Bow riding is illegal in Maryland.

When Frederick fell between the pontoons, the operator couldn't stop the vessel and the propeller struck the boy. Emergency crews couldn't resuscitate the child.

Barnes has a preliminary hearing set for Feb. 17 in Worcester County District Court. If he chooses, he may plead guilty before that date to any or all of the charges. The cumulative pre-payable fine would be $640.