The Hunter — which police described as a charter fishing boat from Kent Island, 10 miles east of Annapolis in the bay — overrode the sailboat and ended up atop its hull, until the two were almost perpendicular.
The bow of the fishing boat projected beyond one side of the sailboat’s hull, the port side. The stern projected beyond the other side of the sailboat.
In a photograph of the tangle, the fishing boat’s bow is seen pointed up, the stern down, touching the water.
A sailboat under sail and not running its engine has the right of way, police said, speaking generally. A fishing boat could have priority if engaged in a certain kind of fishing, but authorities declined to say whether that was the case here. and also did not say whether the sailboat’s engine was running.
The police described the sailboat as a J/105 based in Annapolis. Available specifications put its overall length at 34.5 feet. It has a large cockpit and can cost more than $100,000.
In the photo, the two boats seemed to have melded firmly, with the lower edge of a sail draped across the front of the fishing boat, just in front of its cabin windshield.
The hull of the fishing boat apparently left a V-shaped gouge across the hull of the sailboat.
Coast Guard officials said that after they evacuated the seven people from the fishing boat, it slid off the sailboat. Authorities called in a commercial salvage company to tow both boats back to shore, which is standard practice when an incident does not result in a medical emergency.
The Coast Guard is still investigating the cause of the crash.
The height of summer is the most dangerous time for boating, said Capt. Melissa Scarborough of the Maryland Natural Resources Police, one of the agencies that initially responded to the crash.
“July is historically, without fail, the biggest boat accident month that Maryland has,” she said. “August is the second highest.”
So far this year, boating incidents have killed 16 people in the Chesapeake and its tributaries, Scarborough said. This month, two have died — one in an incident on a creek off the Potomac and another in Frederick County on the Monocacy River.
Some on the water think of boating as purely recreational, Scarborough said, and forget that, just like cars, boats can be dangerous and even deadly.
“I think that sometimes changes their mind set and the care that they take,” she said.