Friday, May 25, 2012
Passengers escape injury in boat hit-and-run
Boater arrested for leaving the scene, operating under the influence.
A Sunday boating accident resulted in an arrest and a totaled boat, but no injuries, according to law enforcement officials.
Sgt. Karl Martin of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said Anthony Albany, 38, of Penhook was arrested for leaving the scene of a boating accident and operating under the influence. Martin said Albany was incarcerated in Franklin County, but later made bond.
Albany was operating a 24-foot pontoon boat that was traveling up the main channel when it struck a 20-foot Baja exiting Bridgewater Plaza, said Martin. The collision occurred just outside the no-wake markers near Hales Ford Bridge.
Martin said Albany fled the scene, traveling upstream to the rental facility from which Albany had acquired the boat. Martin said passersby who had witnessed the accident followed Albany and prevented him from leaving.
No one was injured in the collision, but the Baja was deemed a total loss, said Martin. The pontoon boat sustained about $5,000 in damages, he said.
Martin said the hit-and-run was the only boating incident in the area over the weekend, despite heavy traffic on area waterways for events. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, nonmotorized boaters took to the Blackwater and Pigg rivers for the Pigg River Ramble and other events. On Saturday, the SML Boating Association's annual poker run was held on SML.
"The accident on Sunday is the only thing that marred a perfectly good weekend for boaters of all types," said Martin. "We're just glad no one was hurt."
Al Busch, deputy chief of the SML Marine Volunteer Fire/Rescue Co., said his department, Scruggs Volunteer Rescue Squad and Franklin County career personnel also worked the Sunday incident.
While assisting at the scene, Busch said Marine Fire/Rescue personnel noticed passengers waving from a personal watercraft sitting dormant in the main channel. He said the PWC was sinking, so Marine Fire/Rescue took the two occupants aboard the fireboat and towed the PWC to the state boat ramp near Hales Ford Bridge.
On Monday, Marine Fire/Rescue raised a boat at Waterfront Park, a campground located near Crystal Shores Marina. Busch said the department responded to the call on May 18 and returned to raise and pump out the boat. He said there were no oil or gasoline leaks.