You would expect harbor police to be careful, prudent boat operators — certainly not the type to crash at high speed into two boats tied up to a dock.
But that’s what happened during the weekend in Washington, D.C.
"No pun intended, but immediately my heart sank," Shawn Kuykendall, who had docked one of the two struck boats — a powerboat he borrowed from a friend — told WUSA 9 News.
No one was aboard either boat, and no injuries were reported. Kuykendall had docked at Georgetown's Washington Harbour on Saturday and was at a nearby waterfront restaurant when the accident occurred.
“Someone came and said, ‘A boat's been hit. This is crazy,’ ” Kuykendall told the television station. “We went to check it out, thinking, Let's hope it's not my boat. And we saw a hundred people crowded around where our boat was. The boat was on its side, hanging, its whole left side submerged, and the boat's gone and done."
An attempt was made to keep the boat from sinking, but water poured into the gash the collision caused, and the boat sank.
Witnesses say — and a smartphone video confirms — that the police RIB was traveling pretty fast with its sirens wailing. D.C. Harbor Police did not comment on the incident other than to say its officers were responding to an emergency call of people in the water. The crash is being investigated internally and by the Coast Guard.
The boat’s owner, Sheri Saunders, told the press she was taking the incident in stride.
"It's OK. No one was hurt. It's a boat, not a person. Accidents happen. People do stupid things,” she said. “I'm sure they'll take care of it and make it right."