Lewes Fire Department boat operator cited for collision

July 17, 2013
Tim McClanahan is shown fueling the Lewes Fire Department fire/rescue boat the day it was delivered, Dec. 15, 2008. McClanahan has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a July 4 collision with another vessel. SOURCE FILE PHOTO

The man behind the controls of Lewes Fire Department’s fire/rescue boat on July 4 has been cited for one count of negligent operation of a vessel and one count of failure to maintain appropriate speed to avoid collision.

Timothy J. McClanahan, 43, of Lewes, was operating the fire department boat near Roosevelt Inlet after area fireworks shows, said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, public information officer and boating education specialist with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement section.

Rhodes said fish and wildlife officers responded to the boating collision call involving the fireboat and a 19-foot recreational vessel.

Following an investigation, McClanahan was arraigned and pleaded not guilty, pending trial at a later date, Rhodes said. He said damage to both boats was minor.

McClanahan served on the committee to raise $900,000 to buy the 44-foot fire department vessel from Moose Boats, based in Petaluma, Calif.

Rhodes said the operator of the recreational vessel, John Liipfert, 35, of Tacoma Park, Md., was cited for one count of failure to display required navigation lights.