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The operator of a cabin cruiser that struck a fishing boat anchored at
the mouth of the Choptank River in July has been charged with six
violations of Maryland maritime laws and regulations.
Keith David Price, 42, of Landenburg, Pa., is accused of negligence and
unsafe boat handling in charging documents filed by Natural Resources
Police in Easton District Court.
Several people fishing aboard the Jil Carrie were injured, and one was
thrown overboard when Price's 53-foot cabin cruiser rammed the stern of
the charter boat at noon on July 7.
The charter boat was in dry dock for more than a month. Price told
police he was northbound across the mouth of the river and did not see
the Jil Carrie until it was too late to avoid the collision.
In an interview with The Sun, Price claimed the charter boat was at
fault for anchoring in the channel. However, an eyewitness said charter
Capt. Jim Brincefield of Deale was not anchored in the channel and that
Price did not appear to be at the wheel when the accident occurred.
"There was no way [Price] could not have seen him if he was at the
helm," said Ed Woods of Gaithersburg, who was fishing nearby on his
"I think he knew he hit something, but he didn't see what he hit, in my
Visibility that day was at least three miles and wind was moderate,
according to the police report.
Charter Capt. Bill Fish, who was fishing nearby, estimated Price's
speed at 25 knots, or about 28 mph, charging documents say.
Fish also said the Price Pirate did not deviate from its course even
after the collision and did not slow to a stop until it was about 100
yards beyond the accident scene. Two Washington, D.C., residents
required hospital treatment.
Johnny Randolph, 57, was thrown from the charter boat and nearly
drowned before being rescued by passengers on Fish's boat. Mary
Elizabeth White, 68, was knocked to the deck and suffered extensive leg
Price is charged with operating a boat in a reckless or dangerous
manner, negligence, speeding, failure to maintain a proper lookout,
failure to take all risk-assessment measures and failure to take
appropriate action in a narrow channel.
If convicted, he could be fined up to $2,700 and be sentenced to up to
30 days in jail.
"We are pleased to hear the news," said JoAnne Zawitoski, Brincefield's
lawyer. "The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they do grind."
The Coast Guard has the accident under review and may file federal