Del. firefighter charged after rescue boat crashes into rock

A Delaware City firefighter has been charged in connection with a rescue boat accident that injured two fellow crew members early Wednesday. 

Edward Kalinowski, 62, is charged with one count of negligence by operating at excessive speed, according to a news release from the state Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement.

Kalinowski, president and marine captain of Delaware City Fire Company No. 1., was manning the boat during a search for a missing fishing vessel on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, officials said. The rescue boat struck a rock jetty shortly after midnight, throwing the crew members forward into the cabin console, according to authorities.  

The hull of the 34-foot MetalCraft Marine vessel began to fill with water, forcing Kalinowski and two other firefighters on board to evacuate. Units from Port Penn and Goodwill responded and rescued the stranded crew from the jetty, officials said. 

Kalinowski suffered a broken ankle. Another fire company member suffered facial injuries, while a third sustained injuries to the back and hip, officials said. All three of the firefighters were treated at Christiana Medical Center. 

The fire boat eventually sank, and a salvage company was slated to remove it from the bottom of the canal on Wednesday.

The Delaware State Police aviation unit later found the fishing boat that initially prompted the search on the Delaware Bay, about a half-mile from the New Jersey shoreline, investigators said. Police arranged for the boat, which was adrift and without power, to be towed back. 

The investigation into the fire boat accident remains ongoing, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officials said. 

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter.