Boat hits marker and capsizes pilot unharmed

October 14, 1994

A 19-foot speedboat struck a marker in the Severn River early yesterday and capsized, but the boat's pilot was unharmed.

Maryland Natural Resources Police said the boat, called the Helen, was headed downstream toward a dock about 1:30 a.m. when it struck a marker near the Route 450 bridge. The boat

flipped, and the hull was severed from the rest of the boat. The pilot, alone on the boat, stayed with the hull about 40 yards offshore. His shouts for help were heard by a man who brought him ashore, the spokesman said.

Police learned of the accident shortly after 7 a.m., when an officer heard a radio call to the Coast Guard from a tugboat operator who reported seeing boat debris and empty life jackets in the water.

Michael Helfrich, 40, of Annapolis, was cited for operating a vessel at an unsafe speed at night, which is punishable by a $50 fine. Mr. Helfrich also received two written warnings for operating in a reckless and unsafe manner, a Department of Natural Resources spokesman said.

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