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Boat Dropped Over Cliff Causes Small Spill

Catoctin Mountain Park

National Park News

On March 25th, a 27-foot Bayliner motorboat was unexpectedly launched into Big Hunting Creek, closing State Route 77 and forcing an emergency response to mitigate resource impacts. A van towing the boat got a flat tire. While the operator was attempting to back the trailered boat to a safe stopping point, the trailer’s wheel dropped off the pavement into soft duff and the boat slid off the trailer and down a 30-foot cliff into the creek. The boat was estimated to have about 50 gallons in its fuel tank. A large crane was brought in to extract the boat and two portable generators. The fuel tank was not compromised and only a few gallons of gasoline are estimated to have spilled from one generator. Big Hunting Creek is a small, freshwater creek and a sensitive trout sanctuary.  It was the first in the state to be designated as catch and release and fly fishing only. Several former Presidents have fished in Big Hunting Creek. The creek in the area of the incident is only about a foot deep at this time of year.



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