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Slow cruise home turns life-and-death

AUG. 9 — A musician heading home aboard his 25-foot Bayliner from a nighttime gig found himself and three passengers in the water when a fishing net reportedly sank his boat.

Coast Guard Station Baltimore reported receiving a distress call from a cell phone around 10 p.m. Sunday of a boat taking on water, but the call was lost before a location could be determined. After a second 911 call from the cell phone, an approximate location was determined and the Coast Guard launched a 41-foot utility boat to search. Local marine police also launched boats.

At around 11:30 p.m., the Coast Guard rescue crew reported pulling aboard one of the four, then followed a debris field, picking up all four — each adrift and wearing a life jacket — within three hours after the first call, according to the Coast Guard. All were reportedly exhausted, but were treated and released by a local EMT crew.

The skipper told local media they had wrapped their prop on a commercial fishing net and were unable to cut the net free before it pulled the stern down into choppy waters that eventually swamped the boat.

The pleasure boater, who said his boat was equipped with a GPS but was unfamiliar with the waters in that particular area, suggested that if his boat could not be salvaged he would buy another – bigger – vessel.