Couple shaken by night-time boat collision
A boat owner whose 34ft main ship trawler was invovled in a marine collision with another boat on Friday night has sounded a warning for operators to use extra caution at night.
Craig Dixon was on board the craft he just bought from relative a month ago, for a late night cruise with his girlfriend when the accident occurred near Burgess Point, off of Riddell’s Bay, Warwick.
After working on the craft extensively he said the crash has virtually ruined plans for a leisurely summer on the water.
Both vessels sustained damage, but Mr Dixon said his boat is completely ruined.
In an interview with
The Royal Gazette he recounted the incident which occurred shortly after 11pm when he and his girlfriend realised the 26ft craft was heading towards them.
Mr Dixon said he left Riddell’s Bay and was heading towards Dockyard when he spotted the second craft some distance away.
“I had just turned towards Darrell’s Island when I saw the boat coming towards us in the distance, we both had our lights on. As it got closer I moved over to the starboard side to show the port bough,” he said.
“My girlfriend kept saying the boat was coming straight for us, it was travelling at least 25 to 30mph. She screamed and I told her to brace herself. I don’t know if they weren’t paying attention but the boat never slowed down.”
Mr Dixon said his girlfriend sustained bruising on her right thigh. He sustained cuts and bruises on his chest, thigh and arm. Both were badly shaken up by the accident.
There were three men on the 26ft vessel who towed Mr Dixon’s craft back to Riddell’s Bay where they were met by police who are investigating the incident.
Mr Dixon described the accident as terrifying.
“I couldn’t believe how fast he was coming, my last thought was that he’s not even slowing down; I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
“The cabin on my boat was destroyed and all the windows were shattered. It was a dark night on the water and there was nothing I could do to avoid the collision.”
He also suggested that perhaps it is time for Government to enforce regulations in the form of a test for anyone who wishes to operate a marine vehicle, similar to the test motor vehicles.
“This accident is a clear example of why people should take their time on the water and if they don’t know what they’re doing at the very least they should go slow, especially at night.
“It was a terrible start to the summer boating season, in fact, it has ruined my summer completely. I just got the boat about a month ago and it wasn’t insured yet, but thankfully, the other boat owner has insurance. I’m hoping the my damage is covered,” he said.
“We were all badly shaken by this incident, I just want people to know, especially young people, that boats can kill people. Maybe the Government needs to look into implementing a test to make sure operators are qualified to drive marine vehicles.”
He also expressed gratitude to the three 18-year-olds who were camping on Burt’s Island who came to their assistance.
“They jumped in a small boat and came out to us right away after they heard the impact. It was two girls and a guy and I would like to thank them for their help,” said Mr Dixon.
“But I really want people to know what can go wrong out on the water, especially at night. Hopefully people will learn a lesson from this, the summer is just starting and this could have been more tragic than it was.”