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Owner of Ocean City Pontoon Company Charged in Connection With Boy's Death

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Maryland Natural Resources Police said that the 9-year-old fell from this rented boat on August 18, 2016 and was struck by its propeller in Sinepuxent Bay. The 9-year-old died in the accident. (Photo: WBOC) Maryland Natural Resources Police said that the 9-year-old fell from this rented boat on August 18, 2016 and was struck by its propeller in Sinepuxent Bay. The 9-year-old died in the accident. (Photo: WBOC)

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP/WBOC) - The owner of an Ocean City pontoon rental company has been charged in connection with the death of a 9-year-old boy who died after falling off a rented vessel.
    
According to Maryland Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson, a criminal summons was issued Tuesday. It charges 33-year-old Tyler Barnes with negligent operation of a vessel, failure to have required safety equipment on board, and other offenses.
    
Thomson says on Aug. 18, Kaden Frederick of Howell, New Jersey, and his family rented a pontoon from Ocean City Watersports. Kaden fell into the water into Sinepuxent Bay and was hit several times by the vessel's propeller.
    
Thomson says Kaden was not wearing a life jacket. Thomson said 17 people were on the rented pontoon boat and Kaden was one of four people sitting with their legs dangling from the front of the boat as it moved, which is illegal in Maryland.
    
Thomson said when Kaden fell, the operator couldn't stop and the propeller hit the boy. Emergency crews couldn't resuscitate the child, according to Thomson.
    
Online court records do not list a lawyer for Barnes.

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