SEAFORD, Del.- DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents continue to investigate a fatal accident that claimed the life of a Lincoln man after two boats collided Saturday morning on the Nanticoke River near Seaford.
The dead man was identified as 56-year-old Robert M. Messick. He was a passenger in a boat struck from behind by another boat not long after both vessels left the Seaford public boat ramp around 9 a.m. to participate in a fishing tournament put on by a local bass fishing club.
Four men were aboard the two boats involved in the collision, according to Sergeant. Gregory Rhodes, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement spokesman. Mr. Messick was a passenger on a boat operated by 63-year-old Phillip G. Craft of Seaford. The second boat was operated by 51-year-old Kevin Pase of Milford, with 55-year-old William T. Scharf of Seaford, as his passenger.
According to the accident report, at about 9:15 a.m., Mr. Craft's boat slowed and turned to avoid a log in the water as it approached the Route 13 bridge near Seaford. As the boat throttled down, it was struck from the rear by Mr. Pase's boat, ejecting Mr. Messick into the water. Mr. Messick, a non-swimmer who was not wearing a life jacket, did not resurface, Sgt. Rhodes said.
Several hours later Seaford Fire Department divers located Mr. Messick in the river and he was pronounced dead by Sussex County Emergency Medical Services at the scene, Sgt. Rhodes said.
The cause of death is pending the report from the Delaware Medical Examiner's Office.
Mr. Craft was transported to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported.
Fish and Wildlife Enforcement's investigation of the accident is continuing, with charges pending, Sgt. Rhodes said.