Two horrible accidents several hundred miles apart over Memorial Day weekend raise awareness to the danger of unlit jetties to cruisers at night.
Rescue crews on Monday afternoon recovered the body of missing boater, 43-year-old David Whitlow of Hebron, Md., right next to the concrete jetty in Kent Narrows.
Police said that around 11:15 p.m. Sunday, Whitlow was on board a 20-foot boat when it crashed into the unlit concrete jetty just beyond the Kent Island Yacht Club. Crews searched until 3 a.m. Monday and resumed their search later that morning. They found Whitlow’s body at around noon.
Search and rescue diver William Porter said that by using sonar, crews were able to find the victim, but it was not easy.
“The conditions were very tough in that the way the currents come around the jetty that was causing a lot of turbulence for our sonar,” Porter said.
“We came back dressed up a diver, and made the dive and positively identified the victim,” said Porter.
John Jackson of Grasonville knows the concrete jetty well. He said that at night it is tough to see.
“It’s pretty opaque at night. If you’re not familiar with the area you should be going very slow and have a good view of what’s in front of you if it’s dark. In the daytime it’s no problem,” said Jackson.
Carol Haskell of Grasonville has been boating for over 40 years. She said that out on the water it is easy to become distracted.
“Most of these people that have accidents like that are not paying attention in a lot of cases to hit a jetty,” said Haskell.
The other people onboard the boat included 50-year-old John Perry of Crownsville, Md., and 47-year-old Brenda Werner, 47, from Riva, Md. both of which were transported to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center where they are listed in stable condition. The fourth occupant of the boat, 49-year-old John Bowlin of Linthicum, Md., was not transported.
A collision with a jetty was also responsible for throwing nine boaters from their vessel in Clearwater, FL over the weekend, but fortunately there were no fatalities in that incident.
Courtesy of www.wboc.com.