NEWBURYPORT — What was expected to be a relaxing Saturday on the Merrimack River for a New Hampshire man and his girlfriend almost turned deadly after their 16-foot Bayliner was run over by a charter boat captain, according to the city’s harbormaster.
The Manchester, N.H., man and his girlfriend were ejected from their boat and had to be rescued by the United States Coast Guard. They were brought to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport where they spent the night and were released Sunday.
Following the collision, Gary Morin of Rings Island Charter, the captain of the 25-foot-long No Doubt, was charged by the Massachusetts Environmental Police with negligent operation (speed) and negligent operation (improper lookout), according to agency spokeswoman Amy Mahler.
According to Harbormaster Paul Hogg, the accident took place around 9 a.m. when Morin failed to notice the smaller boat as he sped towards the river’s mouth. The two victims noticed the No Doubt racing towards them and tried in vain to alert the captain of their presence. But their efforts were for naught as Morin’s boat slammed into the smaller boat’s stern and continued until passing its bow. The two victims were tossed from their boat with the female victim sustaining a serious leg laceration.
“It appears he didn’t see them and just ran them over,” Hogg said.
The No Doubt stopped and picked up the female victim as the U.S. Coast Guard, Hogg and Salisbury Harbormaster Ray Pike raced to the scene. Hogg said the smaller boat sustained significant damage and took on a great amount of water as a Tow Boat US hauled it back to Cashman Park in Newburyport.
“I’m just happy we were able to get there right away. We had boats on the scene and they survived. It could have been a lot worse,” Hogg said.