A dramatic crash Sunday involving a Washington, D.C., harbor police boat and two parked boats on the Potomac River was captured on video. Fortunately, both parked vessels were unmanned and there were no reported injuries. Unfortunately, one of the boats partially sank because of a huge gash in its side, caused by the collision.
The captain of the harbor police boat apparently was responding to a distress call–lights flashed and sirens blared–and lost control while trying to turn and speed away.
CBS quoted Shawn Kuykendall, who on Saturday night had docked the boat that sank, as saying:
“Somebody came and said, ‘A boat's been hit.’ You walk out and the crowd, a hundred people or so, crowded around where our boat was. And the left side's completely submerged. The boat's gone and done.”
Kuyekendall had borrowed the boat from a friend, Sheri Saunders, who might be more understanding than the police boat captain’s superiors when they finish investigating the crash.
“It’s not his fault. We’re glad he wasn’t on it,” Saunders said of Kuyekendall. “Accidents happen. People do stupid things. I’m sure they’ll take care of it and make things right.”
In cellphone footage provided to CBS, the officer involved in the crash can be heard saying to one of the irate boat owners: “Are you injured? Then relax.”
Police and the U.S. Coast Guard are investigating the incident.