CATSKILL — An unidentified boat operator is facing charges accusing him of crashing his boat and failing to report the accident, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Conservation said Thursday. ‘State, Jeff Wernick.
The accident happened on the Hudson River in the town of Catskill, Wernick said.
An investigation into the accident began about two months ago.
In early July, Environmental Protection Officer Lucas Palmateer received reports of a boat hitting a channel marker on the Hudson River in the Catskill area, Wernick said.
Palmateer and Lt. Anthony Glorioso began patrolling the river, inspecting channel markers in the area for damage.
The two eventually located a green channel marker that had streaks of white paint and a missing light, indicating some sort of collision had occurred. A navigation light from the bow of a boat was also found on the damaged marker, Wernick said.
Over the next few weeks, the investigation led officers to the person they suspect was responsible for hitting the channel marker.
The man admitted to colliding with the channel marker one night in June. After colliding with the marker, the man left the boat near Catskill Creek and was taken by a friend to Columbia Memorial Health for treatment of minor injuries from the crash, Wernick said.
The man said he returned to the spot near Catskill Creek the next morning to retrieve his boat, but was missing.
After being requested by DEC, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Department used sonar equipment to try to find the boat, but the attempt was unsuccessful, Wernick said.
On August 13, a kayaker found the boat on the Hudson River just north of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and the owner retrieved it.
The incident was reported to the US Coast Guard, which replaced the light on the channel marker. Palmateer issued the man a ticket for failing to report a boating accident, Wernick said.
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