Four injured in Chesapeake Bay boat crash

Four people were injured in a boating collision Saturday night, at the onset of what local officials say is the deadliest time of the year on the water.

“July is one crazy month,” Maryland Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson said.

With 35 percent of last year’s boating accidents happening in July, it was the most dangerous month in Maryland for boating.

One such accident happened just before the month began. On Saturday, police received a call around 9:42 p.m. that a 20-foot Bayliner had struck a 27-foot Wellcraft anchored near North Beach along the Anne Arundel and Calvert County lines. The passengers on the anchored vessel were watching fireworks, Thomson said.

Two passengers on board the striking vessel tested negative for alcohol and drugs, Thomson said. Three people from the other vessel, including two minors, were taken to the hospital for minor injuries. They were later released. One from striking vessel was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

“This is kind of a typical thing that happens around the fourth of July in that you have boats that are anchored watching fireworks in the dark and someone just doesn’t see them,” Thomson said. Inexperienced boaters try to navigate shorelines in the dark, she said.

To allow other boaters to see them, those who want to watch fireworks should keep their anchor lights on, Thomson said, and don’t try to leave at once after the fireworks are over.

She also said that people need to wear their life jackets, adding that in the 19 most recent boating fatalities, 18 were not wearing them.

Thomson said the department has all officers working for the next 10 days to cover the increase in boaters over the holiday.

ctkacik@baltsun.com

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