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Crabber saved after falling from runaway boat on Wicomico River

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Posted at 11:54 AM, Jun 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-16 11:54:04-04

Maryland Natural Resources Police spent two hours Wednesday wrestling a runaway boat to a stop on the Wicomico River in St. Mary’s County.

Candy Thomson, a spokeswoman for the NRP, said that around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the police got a call for a man overboard and a runaway boat.

As the crabber slipped and fell overboard, Thomson said, he hit the throttle causing the boat to go faster.

As the boat moved through the water, it would change direction any time it hit a wave.

“It was like a wobbly circle,” Thomson said.

The crabber who fell out of the boat was unable to get out of the path of the 22-foot vessel, Thomson said.
Another crabber who was on the river saw the first man fall in, called the NRP, and was able to retrieve the man who fell in the river.

“He said he didn’t have any more energy left at all,” Thomson said.

NRP responded to the scene with two boats and four officers. Officers were unable to board the runaway vessel because it was traveling in an erratic pattern at 15 knots.

“This thing just kept moving, and it was moving fast,” Thomson said. “We had to keep chasing it, and keep people away from it.”

Police were able to stop the boat by getting life jackets and a rope to wrap around the propeller of the runaway vessel.

“It was almost like a rodeo, but instead of chasing cattle we were chasing a boat,” Thomson said.

The boat was able to be brought to shore. The man who fell in was checked by EMTs and was declared healthy, other than being waterlogged and a bit shaken, Thomson said.

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