Boat crashes into Empire jetty

24-foot Sport Craft receives heavy damage; occupants uninjured

A 24-foot boat crashed into one of the Empire jetties Thursday evening, according to media reports.

Capt. Rob Buck of Sea Tow Westbank told he received a call at 2 a.m. Friday from the boat owner, asking him to salvage the craft and bring it to Delta Marine.

“There was a really big hole in the front,” Buck said. “The boater hit the rocks, and didn’t think he did much damage, but within five to seven minutes, he had shin-deep water in the boat, so he beached the boat as best he could.”

Buck said he and his crew used air bags, pumps, generators and compressors to float the boat, and then filled the hole with foam and other material.

“I got in the water neck-deep, and it was 58-degree water,” he said. “I wear a wet suit. We’re prepared for that type of thing.

“The real danger part is that 8-mile jog back to the marina.”

The owner of the boat was not from the area, Buck said.

“He was a very good guy; he just made a mistake,” he said. “The passage used to be to the east side (of the jetty). The current changed and put the passage to the west side.

“It’s an easy mistake. All the locals know about it, but he was following an old chart-plotter.”