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Boaters beware

Register • Jul 5, 2014 at 4:31 AM

Something treacherous is lurking in the water near Battery Park Marina.

But no one knows what it is -— yet.

In the past week, at least two boats sustained damage severe enough to require being taken out of the water for repair, said Jeremy Jett, dockmaster at Battery Park Marina.

On Saturday, a 63-foot Sea Ray came across the unknown obstruction in the channel near Buoy 13 in Sandusky Bay, just outside the marina, puncturing its hull.

"By the time the boat got to its dock, (it) was sinking," Jett said. "There was a huge hole in the hull."

Another boat, a 27-foot Sea Ray, also hit the obstruction, and it "destroyed the stern drive. "That's a $12,000 to $13,000 bill" for repairs, he said.

No one's been hurt as a result of the incidents, other than the beating the boat owners' pocketbooks are taking.

The marina is working with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Watercraft, the Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers, trying to determine the nature of the obstruction.

The Coast Guard station in Marblehead has issued an alert to mariners to take caution when in the vicinity of the obstruction, a spokesman said.

ODNR will be using side-scanning sonar to assist in locating and identifying the object, confirmed Matt Eiselstein, deputy chief of communications for the department.

It's unclear at this time how long the mysterious obstruction has been in the water. As more people take to the water in the warm weather over the past several weekends, the marina has received more reports than usual from boaters who believe they've hit something, Jett said. Not all boaters have reported serious damage to their vessels.

Jett said it's possible something was overturned or dislodged from another location in the bay this past winter, given the harsh weather conditions and strong winds. The marina itself has "quite a bit of damage from ice," he said.


Note: This article has been modified to remove coordinates listed in original post. Those coordinates are for Battery Park Marina, not the location of the obstruction. 

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