What started Saturday evening as a pleasure cruise in and out of the rivers and inlets near Annapolis ended abruptly several hours later in the collision of two cabin cruisers that left one person dead and 12 other injured.
Shortly after 9:30 p.m., as the 35-foot "Miss Annapolitan" slowly wound its way through the calm but dark waters at the mouth of the Severn River, she was rammed broadside and sliced through the middle by another cabin cruiser, according to one of the passengers on the "Miss Annapolitan."
Nine of the 11 passengers aboard the Miss Annapolitan were in the cabin when the crash occurred. One of these, Anne F. Cissel, 40, of Wheaton, was trapped in the cabin. Her body was recovered by divers with the Annapolis City Police Department early yesterday morning.
Two persons were aboard the second boat, a 28-foot-long craft. Both were rescued by marine police along with the survivors from the Miss Annapolitan.
Maryland Marine police still were investigating the collision yesterday and would not confirm survivors accounts of how the crash occurred. Both boats sank within seconds, they said.
"We tried to avoid it (the other boat)," said Lee Troutner, 37, a passenger on the larger boat, who was teaching his 14-year-old son navigation when he saw the smaller boat heading straight for them.
"I could see its light coming for about a half-mile," Troutner said yesterday. "We turned to the right, but it kept coming. Then we made one hell of a turn to the right, still trying to avoid it.
"The propellers of the other boat just kept right on chopping through us," Troutner said. "I was under the water listening to it. I'm waiting for the propeller to chop my head off and then it just stopped."
The Coast Guard received a radio call from an unknown man within minutes of the collision.