NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and U.S. Coast Guard have opened a joint investigation into a boat crash Sunday night that sent three people to the hospital.
The crash took place around 7:15 p.m. near the village of Jerusalem. According to DEM spokesperson Mike Healey, the roughly 30-foot sport fishing vessel was heading west when it hit the jetty, climbed up onto the rocks, then fell back into the water.
The vessel was still lodged in the jetty as investigators returned to the scene Monday morning to piece together how and why the crash happened.
Witnesses said the weather was clear at the time and alcohol does not appear to be a factor, according to Healey.
He said it’s believed the group was returning from a fishing trip and the operator, who’s an experienced boater, was looking down at his navigation board and got distracted prior to the crash.
Two adults and a juvenile were taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries following the crash, while a fourth person was not hurt. All three have since been discharged from the hospital.
“It’s probably miraculous that nobody died,” Healey added.
The DEM said the owner will have to get the vessel hauled out so an accident reconstruction team can get a better look at the damage.