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Queens Creek accident brings up issue of channel marking

A couple involved in a summer boating accident in Mathews is asking the Coast Guard to take responsibility for failing to mark adequately the channel where the accident happened.

Bill Kemp’s wife Cindy retired in June, and the Virginia Beach couple decided to take a celebratory boating trip to Crisfield, Md., to the annual crab festival. They invited their friends Robert and Bambi Thompson of Sail Cove, and on June 18 the Kemps stayed with the Thompsons at their home on Queens Creek before setting out on the trip the next morning.

Bill Kemp said he, his wife, and Bambi Thompson left to take the boat to a nearby marina around 5:30 p.m. to pick up water for the trip. Kemp headed out of Queens Creek running about 5 mph in the channel, he said, and as they passed day marker 8 going east toward Hills Bay, he picked up a little speed in anticipation of the open water ahead.

What Kemp didn’t know was that a shoal had developed in the channel. He hit the shoal, and the boat came...

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