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Charges filed in case of Myrtle Beach diver hit by a boat

Charges were filed against a Florida man in connection with a Myrtle Beach man struck by a boat while diving in the Atlantic Ocean, according to authorities.

Jon Berger, 54, of Highland Beach, Fla., was cited with two misdemeanor charges of careless operation resulting in boating accident, a second-degree misdemeanor and culpable negligence, which is a first-degree misdemeanor, said Gabriella Ferraro, a spokeswoman with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Berger also was cited with an infraction of failure to keep 300 feet from diver down flag, she said. He faces up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 fine and is set to appear in court on March 21.

The charges stemmed from Jan. 22 when James C. Shelley, 46, was injured while diving about a mile off the coast of Boca Inlet in Palm Beach County, Fla., Ferraro said. Shelley was hospitalized with serious lacerations after the incident.

Berger was driving a 28-foot boat and hit Shelley as he surfaced, Ferraro said. Shelley was diving off a commercial charter boat, Lady Go Diver.

Shelley's charter boat had diving flags properly displayed at the site, Ferraro said.