UPDATE: Partially Submerged Civilian Craft Removed from Patuxent River

April 2, 2019

UPDATE 4/2/2019: The U.S. Coast Guard this past week used a crane barge to remove a sunken abandoned vessel that was polluting the Patuxent River, and causing a hazard to boating navigation.

9/4/2018: On August 21, 2018 at approximately 8:30 a.m. Officer David Helterbran and Sgt. Tim Kraemer of the Maryland Natural Resources Police responded on the Patuxent River north of the West Basin, in St. Mary’s County for a report of a sunken vessel.

Upon their arrival  they located a 108 foot vessel sunken and in an obvious state of disrepair. The vessel was anchored and the stern was completely submerged and sitting on the bottom in 12 feet of water. The vessel was resting on the bottom and could not move with wind or tides. This created a hazard to navigation on the waters of the State.

By searching the hull identification number it was learned that the vessel is owned and controlled by two individuals who were identified as Ronald Philip Ferry, 63 of Aldie, Virginia, and Jared David Kaplan Russell, 33, of Takoma Park.

A criminal summons was issued for both Ferry and Russell for abandoning a vessel on the waters of the state and littering over 500 pounds.

8/27/2019: Naval Air Station Patuxent River’s Port Operations Division and personnel from U.S. Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes are monitoring a partially submerged civilian watercraft in the Patuxent River for potential environmental impact.

The monitoring efforts began Aug. 21, 2018, at approximately 1:00 p.m. when NAS Patuxent River Port Operations personnel noticed what appeared to be a sinking vessel a half mile northwest of the base in the Patuxent River.

An initial investigation determined that the vessel was a civilian-owned former Navy YP craft, and that no one was onboard. NAS Patuxent River Port Operations staff also determined that while the craft was taking on water, no visible signs of oil or hazardous substances (OHS) are being emitted from the sinking vessel. NAS Port Operations staff contacted U.S. Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, who confirmed that they were aware of the vessel and were in contact with the craft’s owner. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Baltimore also stated that boat towing service Sea Tow verified the vessel posed no potential pollution hazard, and that the owner was intending to address the problem.

Port Operations personnel have been monitoring the situation looking for signs of activity on the vessel as well as signs of any OHS being emitted from the vessel. As of 4:30 p.m. Aug. 23, no sign of OHS emissions have been observed. U.S. Coast Guard St. Inigoes patrol craft have also been on scene monitoring the craft as well.

Though the vessel is private property and not within the jurisdictional waters of the Navy, NAS Patuxent River Port Operations continues to monitor the situation and is ready to respond in the event the vessel poses any environmental threat to the river.

“We’re working closely with the Coast Guard until the owner can safely tow it off,” said David Wick, NAS Patuxent River Installation Program Director, Port Operations. “We will act and do everything possible to keep the Patuxent River clean and safe.” NAS Patuxent River will continue to work with the U.S. Coast Guard to mitigate any potential environmental impacts resulting from this situation.

For more information about NAS Patuxent River visit www.cnic.navy.mil/Patuxent or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NASPaxRiver.

Some Photos courtesy of Brian Collis and the Southern Maryland Sailing Association Facebook Page.