Labor Day Celebrated Safely - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Labor Day Celebrated Safely

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Marylanders celebrated the end of summer by having a safe Labor Day weekend on State lands and waterways, the Natural Resources Police reported.

NRP says for the second consecutive year, the holiday passed without a fatal boat accident. They also said the early goose and dove hunting seasons got underway on September 1 without a mishap.

“We commend the recreational community for heeding the call for vigilance, both on water and land,” said Col. George F. Johnson IV, NRP superintendent. “Our officers made fewer criminal arrests and issued fewer citations during the three-day period.”

NRP says they interacted with 8,900 boaters, park visitors and hunters, an increase of 6 percent over last year. Officers issued 327 tickets, down 6 percent from last year, and made five criminal arrests, compared to 11 last holiday weekend.

As part of a stepped-up maritime enforcement campaign, officers say they conducted safety inspections on 1,479 recreational vessels statewide, a nearly 14 percent increase over last year.

NRP says seven people were arrested for impaired operation of boats or vehicles - the same as last year - and issued 69 citations for alcohol violations, compared to 121 last year over the same period.

NRP recorded 10 boating accidents with injuries, the same number as in 2013. The most serious occurred on August 31, when a boat getting underway in Ocean Pines exploded, causing non-life threatening injuries to five adults.

The agency will continue to press its maritime safety message this fall - especially with the “Star Spangled Spectacular” the weekend of September 12-14 in Baltimore - while also ramping up its hunting enforcement operation and preparing for the State of the oyster season.

“Although summer has ended, Marylanders will still be able to enjoy many more weekends outdoors,” Johnson said. “We hope everyone will keep their guard up, whether it is on the water, in our State parks or on the trail. Working together, we ensure that safety is not just a slogan, but a way of life.”

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