Man Airlifted after Tubing Accident on Rhode River

A 36-year-old man had to be airlifted from the Rhode River after suffering traumatic injuries in a tubing accident on Sunday afternoon.

Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) say a boat was towing the man in a tube near Flat Island in Edgewater around 3:45 p.m. Three children around ten years old were also on board the boat.

That’s when NRP says the tube hit the wake from another boat that was also tubing in the area. “The force sent the rider airborne before crashing down into another wake,” NRP said in response to a Bay Bulletin inquiry.

The boat’s operator, a 40-year-old man, rushed to check on the tuber, pulled him from the water, and brought him onto Flat Island. He called 911.

NRP and Anne Arundel County Fire Department crews found the man in bad shape when they arrived, and called Maryland State Police for air transport because of the man’s condition and the difficulty of getting him back to shore.

State Police Trooper 2, the Command’s helicopter stationed at Joint Base Andrews, lowered a state trooper/ flight paramedic onto the island. The team hoisted the victim into the helicopter and took him to Shock Trauma in Baltimore.

NRP says the boat’s operator, 40-year-old Richard Harrington of Edgewater, was fined for two violations: $85 for “towing a person behind a vessel without an observer at least 12 years of age,” and $25 for “failure to possess a certificate of boater safety education.”

-Meg Walburn Viviano