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Paraglider pilot has second encounter with Salem authorities after engine problems off coast

A paraglider pilot had his second encounter with Salem authorities this weekend after experiencing engine problems that required a rescue effort off of Eagle Island, police said.

Patrick Tarmey, 25, of Peabody, was retrieved by harbormasters late Sunday afternoon after calling police for help, Salem police Lieutenant Conrad Prosniewski said. Tarmey was not injured in the incident.

Tarmey was recently arrested by Salem police on a disorderly conduct charge after paragliding over the North River on Sept. 11. That day, police received numerous phone calls for a low-flying, unfamiliar aircraft observed in the area and causing traffic delays, Prosniewski said.

“It’s not wise to fly something unfamiliar over a populated area on that day,” Prosniewski said. “People were seeing something strange, so everyone was calling.”


According to Prosniewski, Tarmey claimed he was not doing anything wrong, but after a brief argument with officers, he was arrested on the disorderly conduct charge. His case was dismissed in Salem District Court last week after he agreed to pay a $50 fine.

“Maybe with the FAA he wasn’t doing anything wrong, but the fact was that he was flying an unusual aircraft in the sky on 9/11, people were alarmed, and it was causing traffic on the streets to stop. Those actions themselves fit the description of disorderly conduct,” Prosniewski said.

Paraglider pilots fly with motors that look like giant lawnmowers on their back. The paraglider itself looks like part of a parachute. It acts as an airplane wing does, lifting the pilot and motor into the air.

A telephone message seeking comment from Tarmey was not immediately returned.

Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at sarah.mattero@globe.com.