A family vacation in Sinepuxent Bay, Maryland, just south of Ocean City, New Jersey, turned tragic after a 9-year-old boy, Kaden Frederick, was killed after he fell into the water and was struck multiple times by a propeller, according to the Daily Mail.
Candy Thomson, who is the spokesperson for the Natural Resources Police, told reporters that Kaden and his family of 17 were enjoying the afternoon in the water Wednesday on a rented pontoon boat when tragedy struck.
As the boy and three others were sitting at the front of the boat with their feet dangling in the water as the boat moved, which is reportedly illegal in Maryland, Kaden somehow lost his balance and fell into the water.
He was not wearing a life jacket.
Please help this family Kaden Frederick Memorial Fund https://t.co/XCGbTxq3ou— kimberly aldarelli (@kaldarelli) August 18, 2016
The driver of the boat had no time to stop and the propeller ultimately struck the boy multiple times.
When the vessel finally came to a rest, Kaden’s family quickly got him out of the water and onto the boat.
An off-duty paramedic, state trooper, and two nurses, who were on a nearby tour boat, witnessed the boating accident and rushed to the boy’s aide.
As they tried desperately to resuscitate the injured boy, he went into cardiac arrest and died at the scene.
The driver of the boat has not been named, but it has been alleged that prior to operating the boat with a large group, the driver took a “short safety course at the rental facility called Under the Bridge Watersports.”
Candice Beghtll, who lives in the area, stated that “there are very few requirements to get behind the wheel of a watercraft.”
“My younger sister has never driven a boat and she went and rented it for the day,” said Beghtll. “Anybody can go rent a boat they don’t have to be licensed, most people do it for fun with their family for the day.”
“And with the lack of real training behind the wheel in an emergency situation, an inexperienced driver may not think to kill the motor if someone goes overboard.”
When reporters attempted to contact workers at the Under the Bridge Watersports, the owner instructed the crew not to speak “to the media on camera about the fatal incident.”
However, one employee admitted that the boat Kaden fell from was over capacity. Recent reports indicate that 17 people were on the boat during the time of the boating accident when the rental facility states that no more than 14 people are allowed on the vessel.
According to the Asbury Park News, the “accident is the fourth boating fatality in Maryland this week, and the eleventh this year.”
Thomson said, “Those bays are filled with boats in the summer, everything from paddle boards to jet skis to tour boats to cigarette boats.”
“It’s extremely busy. You’d have to have your head on a swivel to see everything that’s going on.”
She added that “there are often a mix of seasoned boaters and inexperienced vacationers in the narrow bay, which makes for potentially bad situations. In the summer, officers are often running from one scene to another.”
“People’s memories of a moment like that are generally speaking pretty unreliable,” she said. “It was his family members who pulled him out of the water before help could arrive.”
Following the boating accident, Kaden’s aunt created a Go Fund Me account, where she wrote the following: “Kaden loved life, football, his parents, siblings, and friends. I wish I can take away my brother’s Ulyssee and Kaden’s mom’s, Michelle, pain away.”
“I put this campaign together to help them with any financial burdens that will come upon them during this trying time. Please, whoever is reading this and can support this lovely family, please do so. We love you, always remember that.”
As of yet, the driver of the boat isn’t facing any charges, but police officials are investigating the incident to determine if alcohol or speed played a role in the boating accident.
[Image via Facebook /Ulyssee Frederick, Jr.]