One man was seriously injured Oct. 20 when a charter boat ran aground at The Point at Cape Henlopen State Park.
Lewes Fire Department Assistant Chief Bill Henry Buckaloo, who was on the Katydid charter boat when the incident occurred, said it was still dark about 6:20 a.m. when the captain had to navigate between The Point and the Harbor of Refuge lighthouse.
It wasn’t foggy, Buckaloo said, but a misty rain was falling when the boat carrying seven anglers came to a complete stop by The Point and everyone onboard was pushed forward. One man, later identified as Curtis Wright of Milton, was sitting on a cooler facing the stern and hit his head on impact.
Buckaloo said he called 911, and told the caller to dispatch the Lewes Fire Department fire boat and ATV gators to The Point because at that time he didn’t know if Curtis would be transported by land or boat for medical care.
EMTs arrived, put a collar on Curtis and placed him on a backboard so he wouldn't move while they tried to control the bleeding, Buckaloo said. Curtis was taken by ATV to the parking lot where an ambulance was waiting, he added.
Fog had rolled in by daybreak, so Curtis couldn’t be transported by helicopter, Buckaloo said; he was taken to Beebe Healthcare, where he was evaluated and then transported by ground to Christiana Care.
By phone Oct. 26, Curtis’s wife Vera said the charter had just set out on a flounder fishing day trip when the accident occurred. Curtis face-planted on the bulkhead, Vera said.
“It happened so fast, none of them saw it coming,” she said.
Vera said her husband is improving; he suffered a broken nose, which required surgery, and some neck injuries. He may need rehabilitation to help with dizziness from a concussion, she said.
U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Seth Johnson said he could not offer any specifics at this time because the accident is still under investigation. Katydid Captain Brent Wiest could not be reached for comment.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Buckaloo said. “The captain is one of the best in the business. He’s done it a million times, but accidents happen. That’s why they call them accidents.”
Melissa Steele contributed to this report.