Woman pleads guilty to blocking channel

Frederick Co. resident abandoned ship before oil tanker hit sailboat

November 15, 2001|By Stephen Kiehl | Stephen Kiehl,SUN STAFF

A woman who jumped ship as an oil tanker bore down upon her sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay was fined $500 yesterday for blocking a shipping channel.

Kathleen M. Davis, who with her husband spent two pre-dawn hours bobbing in the bay after the oil tanker sideswiped their sailboat, was also sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation by District Judge Essom Ricks and was ordered to take a boating safety course from the state Department of Natural Resources.

DNR police had charged the 37-year-old Frederick County woman with impeding the passage of a vessel confined to a channel, said DNR spokeswoman Heather Lynch. Small boats are supposed to yield to large vessels that have less room to maneuver.

Davis pleaded guilty to the charge yesterday.

The Davises did not return a telephone call yesterday. Todd Davis was not charged because investigators determined that his wife was operating the boat before the collision, Lynch said.

Lynch said the episode should teach boaters the dangers of sailing by starlight and the necessity of learning the rules of the water.

"They should follow the boating safety laws and rules the state sets forth," Lynch said. She said DNR offers frequent boating safety courses throughout the state.

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