Five people were injured last night, two critically, in two boating accidents on the Patuxent and Choptank rivers, said a spokesman for the state Natural Resources Police.
At 11:50 p.m., a cabin cruiser with four people on board struck an unknown object in the Patuxent River near Sandgates in St. Mary's County, seriously injuring two of four people aboard.
A DNR officer said someone on the vessel radioed for help but gave the wrong location, causing a delay of nearly two hours before the damaged boat was found by rescue craft.
All four were taken ashore by a DNR marine unit, where two were flown by a State Police Med-Evac helicopter to the Shock-Trauma Unit at Prince George's General Hospital in Cheverly.
The two were identified as Phillip L. Stone, 41, of St. Leonard, and Archie D. Parran, 45, of Lusby. Stone suffered neck, rib and back injuries and Parran was being treated for head and back injuries. Both were in critical condition.
Police said two others, Teresa Farri, 34, of St. Leonard, and Anthony Arnold, 42, of Solomons, refused medical treatment.
Police said the use of alcohol contributed to the collision.
About 7:40 p.m. on the Choptank River off Benoni Point in Talbot County, an explosion aboard a 58-foot cruiser forced three passengers to abandon ship in a dingy.
L DNR police said all three suffered smoke inhalation and were
taken to Memorial Hospital at Easton for treatment and released.
Police identified them as Winston Marsh 3rd, 32, of Gaithersburg; Cordell Vitkun, 38, of Shadyside; and Steven Vramhall, 24, of Lothian.
Police said another boat towed the burning vessel close to shore, where fire apparatus from the Oxford Volunteer Fire Company extinguished the flames.