Boats on the Rocks Near the State Park Marina Entrance
July 24, 2004
With 15-20 knot winds from the northeast and waves running 4-6 feet at the end of a Christmas in July party at Put-in-Bay, July 24 was a dangerous evening to try to find the Middle Bass Island State Park Marina after dark - especially if you are not familiar with it, haven't looked at your charts and perhaps also had a few beers.
Having one boat run aground is rare. Having two do it on the same evening sets a new record. The boats are just a few hundred feet south of the entrance to the marina, and were probably closer when they first hit bottom. To first-time visitors who don't see the red and green channel markers, the area the boats pulled into may have looked like a marina entrance.
We heard that one boat was towing the other. One version of the story says that the boats just came in wrong, while another says that after slowing down, the lead boat's prop got entangled with the tow rope.
Many boaters make the mistake of coming into the marina from an angle, while it's best to line up your boat with the entrance early. But with the high water we have been having, the angle of approach was probably not the problem. Here's a useful tip: If you're coming into the state park marina late at night from the lake and are headed straight towards the lights of the boats you see, you're going to end up as these boats did.
All the pictures except the last 3 were taken on July 25. The last three pictures were taken around 10:30AM on July 27, after a salvage crew from the Boaters' Emergency Service arrived and started pumping water out of the first boat.
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Revised: 21 Jul 2008 06:54:56.
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