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A Rock and a Hard Place

For some boaters, jetties are Scylla and Charybdis

Two jetties protect the Deale harbor in Southern Anne Arundel County.
    Neither is new. Yet 900-foot jetties are  bad news to a few of the thousands of boaters entering Rockhold Creek.
    Saturday, August 18, What’s Next rocketed up onto a jetty.
    “This one must have gone quite a way up and turned since the stern is on the jetty and the bow is in the water,” said Doug Roberts of Deale.
    What’s Next is the second boat to suffer that dangerous and ignominious fate this year.
    On May 27, Irish Wake struck the other Deale jetty.
    The same day, a boater died on one of the Kent Narrows jetty.
    And in 2009, a captain died after hitting the Deale jetty.
    The Chesapeake has 14 such jetties protecting channels and harbors.
    Navigational aids mark each one. But high tides can obscure the jetties, and after dark the lights of a busy water and landscape make a puzzle of the flashing red and green navigational aids.
    Even at harbor speed, six knots, a boat encountering a jetty would feel quite a bump.