ANNAPOLIS (AP) -- A boat that hit something under water and dunked a group of fourth graders into the Chesapeake Bay had ventured into a prohibited area, a U.S. Coast Guard official said Thursday. The U.S. Navy warns of unexploded bombs in the vicinity.
Everyone on board was rescued after the 40-foot Chesapeake Bay Foundation vessel sank near the mouth of the bay Wednesday evening, in water less than 5 feet deep, just west of Bloodworth Island.
The area is marked marked off-limits on nautical maps because of underwater obstructions, Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class David Marin said.
Those obstructions could have explosive consequences.
The Navy used the Bloodsworth Island Range for live-ordinance training from 1942 to 1995, according to the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, which warns against trespassing too close to shore.
A Coast Guard investigation may determine just what the vessel hit.
Foundation President William Baker wasn't sure if the boat entered restricted waters, but he said the foundation has led trips into the general area for years because it provides a sense of what the bay was like before the nation's largest estuary became seriously polluted.