Sport fishing charter boat runs aground at The Point

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A man was seriously injured on October 20 when a chartered boat ran aground at The Point in Cape Henlopen State Park.

Lewes Deputy Fire Chief Bill Henry Buckaloo, who was aboard the charter boat Katydid when the incident occurred, said it was still dark around 6:20 a.m. when the captain had to navigate between the The Point lighthouse and the harbor of Refuge.

There was no fog, Buckaloo said, but a misty rain fell when the boat carrying seven fishermen came to a complete stop near The Point and everyone on board was pushed forward. A man, later identified as Curtis Wright of Milton, was seated on a cooler facing the stern and hit his head on impact.

Buckaloo said he called 911 and told the caller to send the Lewes Fire Department fire boat and all-terrain vehicles to The Point because at that time he was not didn’t know if Curtis would be taken by land or by boat for medical treatment.

Paramedics arrived, put a collar on Curtis and put him on a backboard so he wouldn’t move while they tried to control the bleeding, Buckaloo said. Curtis was taken on an ATV to the parking lot where an ambulance was waiting for him, he added.

The fog had arrived at dawn, so Curtis could not be transported by helicopter, Buckaloo said; he was taken to Beebe Healthcare, where he was assessed and then transported by land to Christiana Care.

By phone on Oct. 26, Curtis’ wife Vera said the charter had just left for a day of plaice fishing when the crash happened. Curtis crashed into the bulkhead, Vera said.

“It happened so fast, neither of them saw it coming,” she said.

Vera said her husband was improving; he suffered a broken nose, which required surgery, and some neck injuries. He may need rehabilitation to relieve dizziness from a concussion, she said.

US Coast Guard spokesman Seth Johnson said he could not give details at this time as the crash is still under investigation. Captain Katydid Brent Wiest could not be reached for comment.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Buckaloo said. “The captain is one of the best in the business. He’s done it a million times, but accidents happen. That’s why they call them accidents.

Melissa Steele contributed to this report.


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