2 children die in boat accidents

July 11, 1994|By Kate Shatzkin and Holly Selby | Kate Shatzkin and Holly Selby,Sun Staff Writers

Three people, including a 2-year-old girl, died Saturday in two separate boating-related accidents, Maryland Natural Resources Police said.

Two-year-old Lindsey McCunney of Glen Mills, Pa., died while on a boat on the Sassafras River in Kent County, police said. She was apparently the victim of carbon monoxide fumes from a cracked exhaust pipe on the family boat, police said.

In a second accident, Bryant Perry, 11, drowned when a boat capsized in the Little Annemessex River, according to the Natural Resources police in Crisfield, Somerset County.

Richard Green, 54, a family friend who was rescued from the water, died later of a heart attack, police said.

In the accident on the Sassafras River, Lindsey was pronounced dead at 6:13 p.m. Saturday at the Medical Center of Delaware in Newark, Del., about an hour after a relative discovered she was not breathing. Her family had been boating on the Sassafras near Georgetown.

Lindsey, 4-year-old Lisa Kalinowsky of Aston, Pa., and their grandmother, Elizabeth M. Simpson of Glen Mills, 50, were sleeping in two bedrooms on the family's 36-foot Carver cabin cruiser Saturday afternoon, said Barbara MacLeod, spokeswoman for Maryland Natural Resources Police.

The boat, named Playpen, was anchored at the mouth of Mill Creek while nine other family members in the party water-skied, said Richard Wicks, owner of Duffy Creek Marina.

Elizabeth Simpson and her husband, Robert, kept their boat at the marina.

About 5 p.m., Lisa's mother, Sheryl Kalinowsky, noticed that Lindsey was not breathing and that Mrs. Simpson's breathing was labored, Ms. MacLeod said.

The family summoned help from the Coast Guard.

A few minutes later, Mimi Parish heard a commotion from her living room just north of the Route 213 bridge over the river.

"We heard people yelling and screaming. We thought either the boat's out of control and going to hit the bridge or someone's hurt," Mrs. Parish said. "I told them to come on our dock."

Mrs. Parish said she performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Lindsey but the child was "lifeless."

Volunteer firefighters from a number of neighboring towns, the Coast Guard and Natural Resources police went to Mrs. Parish's dock.

Lisa and her grandmother were flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore and were released about 11:30 p.m. Saturday after being treated in a hyperbaric chamber, Ms. MacLeod said.

Maryland Department of the Environment staff examined the boat yesterday and found a cracked exhaust pipe that emitted fumes from a gas generator used to air condition the boat, Ms. MacLeod said.

The Delaware State Medical Examiner's Office performed an autopsy, but did not release a cause of death for Lindsey yesterday.

The other accident occurred earlier Saturday as a group of six friends from Philadelphia were fishing in the Little Annemessex River, police said. The 21-foot Bayliner apparently was anchored near Janes Island State Park while its passengers fished. About 9 a.m., the boat, owned by 57-year-old Clarence Powell of Philadelphia, tipped over, tossing those on board into the river, police said.

Nancy Howard, a spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Police, said the cause of the accident and whether the boat was equipped with life preservers are still being investigated.

"There were conflicting stories. It was either swamped by a wave or it was taking on water. We're not sure," Ms. Howard said.

The 11-year-old drowning victim was not wearing a life preserver when he was pulled from the water, she said.

Rescuers searched until 2:19 p.m. before finding the boy, Ms. Howard said.

Richard Green, 54, of Philadelphia, died of a heart attack later after being pulled from the water and taken to McCready Hospital in Crisfield.

One other passenger, 57-year-old Ronald Turner of Philadelphia, was trapped under the boat in an air pocket for almost an hour, Natural Resources Police said.

Mr. Turner and the other passengers, Ronald J. Davis, 57, of Philadelphia and Foster Washington, 73, of Mount Airy, Pa., were not seriously injured.

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