OCEAN CITY — At least two more boats have fallen victim to allegedly unmarked dredge pipes in local navigation channels, including an unnamed commercial vessel and a large sportfishing vessel seriously damaged in the Inlet channel last week.
In two separate incidents, a commercial trawler and the sportfishing charter boat “No Quarter” struck a section of dredge pipe partially submerged across the main channel in the Inlet, causing serious damage to both vessels. The two incidents last week bring the total of vessels striking pipes in navigation channels in and around the resort area to at least 10, including a half a dozen or so when the dredge company, Goodloe Marine out of Florida, had set up their operation much further south near Assateague last month.
The federal Army Corps of Engineers contracted Goodloe Marine to dredge the navigation channels in and around the resort to maintain the channels at the appropriate depth. As a side benefit, the dredged material has been pumped onto existing historic islands in and around the coastal bays including the now somewhat famous “Flag Island” enjoyed by so many boaters throughout the summer. In addition, some of the dredged material was earmarked for the beaches on Assateague and Ocean City, which was ultimately the cause of the last week’s round of boat strikes near the Inlet.