On Water and in Woods
With a string of beautiful days with bright sun and comfortable temperatures, Memorial Day weekend beckoned thousands of residents and visitors to Maryland waterways and state parks and kept Natural Resources Police officers on their toes.
NRP, the oldest statewide law enforcement agency, responded to 588 calls for service, issued 386 tickets and 1,104 warnings, and talked to more than 23,700 recreational anglers, boaters and park goers.
Saturation patrols statewide checked 2,533 recreational vessels during the 72 hours from May 23-25. Seven boaters were charged with operating under the influence, two more than last year.
The state recorded nine boating accidents; one accident in Calvert County resulted in the death of a New Carrollton angler. A swimming accident in Garrett County led to the death of a teenager from Kitzmiller.
Officers returning from a wreath-laying ceremony at Annapolis City Dock on Memorial Day rescued seven fishermen from their capsized boat just south of the Bay Bridge. All were unharmed.
NRP’s safety efforts kicked off with National Safe Boating Week, from May 16-22, with officers and reserve officers ramping up safety checks and outreach.
During the campaign, NRP inspected 1,205 vessels, talked with 2,171 boaters and attended safe-boating events at marinas across the state and at Camden Yards during an Orioles game, where the agency unveiled its new mascot, Splash the Water Safety Dog.
Officers made four Operating Under the Influence arrests, and wrote 89 tickets and 294 warnings.
Photo courtesy of Cory Russell