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Boating Accidents Rise In Perilous Maryland Waters

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Derek Valcourt 370x278 Derek Valcourt
Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Another dangerous weekend on Maryland waters after a series of boat accidents killed one man and left several more in the hospital.

Derek Valcourt explains police are now investigating three separate accidents, all of them in Anne Arundel County.

It’s shaping up to be one of the deadliest summers for Maryland boaters in years. Search crews pulled the body of Charles Ryder, 48, from the waters of Stony Creek near Riviera Beach. Police say Saturday night he was on a moving boat, when for some reason, he jumped into the creek and never resurfaced.

But the cause of two other boat accidents this weekend are still under investigation. Two people were rushed to Shock Trauma after their boat capsized in the South River. Hours later, and not too far away, a sailboat and a power boat collided. In all, three people were injured in that crash. 

They are the latest in a series of troubling accidents on Maryland waters this summer, including the death of 14-year-old Olivia Constants, killed when her small sailboat capsized and her harness became tangled in sailing lines. 

And earlier this month, a WJZ viewer captured video of a boat spinning in circles on the Magothy River minutes after ejecting its two passengers, killing James Robert Kane, 25, of Pasadena.

 Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Police blame the weather for an increase in fatalities.

“We didn’t have much of a spring,” said Sgt. Art Windemuth. ” It went right from winter to 80-90 degree days in May, and as soon as we hit those hot, dry days, people turned to the water for relief. And we’re seeing an increased number of accidents.”

In fact, so far this year, 15 people have already died in boating accidents on Maryland waters. That’s already higher than most previous years. DNR Police point out there’s still plenty of summer to go.

The cause of the weekend accidents are still under investigation. Police have not released information on the conditions of the five boaters taken to the hospital.

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