Charter Boat Crashed atop Sailboat in Bay; Who was at the helm? The inexperienced captain or a man who has two DWI’s?
UPDATE: STEVENSVILLE, MD. – The man who may have been the operator of a charterboat that landed on top of a sailboat has two DWI convictions on his driving record in Maryland, along with other serious infractions. James Eric Clough was in the Charles County, Maryland jail serving time for DWI about the same time the Coast Guard, awarded his father, Capt. Jamie Clough a captain’s license so he could take out fishing parties and eventually plowed his new charter boat over and on top of a sailboat. Exactly who was the operator of the charterboat Hunter at the time it plowed over a sailboat and parked on top of it until removed by a salvage company, remains to be explained as the Coast Guard has yet to disclose the names of the operators of the vessels involved. James Eric Clough states in an email that he has never been a charter captain, however, captains often let their mate take the helm. Capt. Jamie Clough refused to answer questions about how the collision occurred. The Coast Guard won’t say who was the operator of the Coast Guard inspected and licensed charterboat. Thus, questions remain about who was the operator of the charterboat perched on top of a sailboat in one of the most spectacular crashes on the Chesapeake Bay which endangered the lives of all aboard both vessels.
The owners of the charterboat state on their website that Capt. Jamie Clough is the captain of the Hunter.
The Captain of a vessel is responsible for anyone operating his boat while it is underway. According to several persons on social media, the two men are father and son.
This account was posted on the website of the owners of the sailboat: CHESAPEAKE BOATING CLUB
Date: August 17, 2018
This morning at approximately 11:30 am, a member of the Chesapeake Boating Club was under sail on one of the Club’s J/105s when they were struck by a 35’ powerboat. The J/105 was struck amidships on the starboard side, with the powerboat coming to a stop on top of the sailboat. Thankfully, no one was injured. Our members were operating the boat in a safe manner, on a day with clear visibility and 10-12 knots of breeze. The J/105 crew attempted to hail the approaching boat prior to the collision, otherwise signal, and take action to avoid the collision. We would like to thank the Coast Guard and Department of Natural Resources for their rapid response to the scene.
This comment posted on Facebook was from an eyewitness to the aftermath of the collision.
The crash of the two vessels on the Chesapeake Bay, with the charterboat Hunter, under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard, had the potential to come close to matching the Duck Boat Disaster in Branson, Missouri last month.
According to the Maryland Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson, the charter fishing boat, “Hunter,” with seven people on board out of Kentmoor Harbor Marina, on Kent Island at Stevensville, struck a J/105 sailboat with two people on board from the Chesapeake Boating Club of Eastport. The accident occurred around noon on Friday.
Anne Arundel Fire Dept, the Coast Guard, and NRP responded to the scene of the collision where the charterboat crashed onto the top of the sailboat and was stuck in that position. There were no serious injuries. The J/105 had to be towed.
Hunter is a brand-new 37-footer owned by Chesapeake Bay Charter Services.
Captain Jamie Clough, master of the vessel Hunter was contacted by THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY at the phone number listed on his Facebook page to book charters on Aug. 18, 2018, and asked to explain how the crash happened.
“I can’t respond to that,” said Clough. When asked if the collision was the fault of the sailboat, Clough terminated the call.
Because the crash involves a commercial vessel, Thomson said that the Coast Guard will handle the investigation and Coast Guard Petty Officer David Micallef, spokesman for District Five Public Affairs stated that is the policy of the Coast Guard to withhold the name of the operator of a vessel involved in an investigation until the probe is complete – which is not the usual practice of the Coast Guard – but in light of the Coast Guard approved Duck Boat which killed 17 people in Branson, the policy might be changing. In that case, the Coast Guard quickly identified the operator.
One member of the Fast Response boat crew that arrived at the scene from Coast Guard Station Annapolis was Petty Officer 2nd Class, Michael Kline.
P.O. Kline said that he is an eleven-year veteran of the Coast Guard and has responded to three boat collisions before the crash involving the Hunter on Aug. 17, 2018.
Asked if he expected to see a far worse result than the slight injuries due to the dramatic scene of the charter boat sitting on top of the sailboat, Klein said, “I was pretty surprised.”
Klein said that no one was in the water and the engines of the charterboat were not running when the Coast Guard response boat arrived and referred any questions about other details to District Five Public Affairs.
From the website of the owner of the charter boat HUNTER, Jamie Clough, listed as the Captain, First Mate No More! January 7, 2018
This message was posted on the blog of the Chesapeake Bay Charter Services:
“Jamie has passed his Captain’s test! Congratulations Jamie can’t wait for you to navigate for Chesapeake Bay Charter Services! Now we wait for the new boat to be completed!”
On Facebook, Chesapeake Bay Charter Services announced:
“We have some very exciting news! Our first mate Jamie is the first mate no more! Jamie is now Captain Jamie Clough! We also have a light tackle boat that Jamie will be running this year.”
TWO DWI CONVICTIONS IN THE PAST OF JAMES CLOUGH
UPDATE: Lauren Clough sent this response to this article: “You have posted an article within the last hour of my husband accusing him of driving the boat that was in the accident yesterday.”
Lauren Clough did not state whether her husband was operating the vessel or deny that he had been arrested twice for DWI and other traffic charges. She also didn’t clarify if her husband was simply the repeat offender DUI driver or the boat captain or both. Captain Jamie Clough has been given the opportunity to explain how the collision between his boat and the sailboat took place and he refused to comment. James Eric Clough states in an email that he has never been a charter captain.
Chris Schindler The guy in the picture and with the DWI record is the captain’s son.
James Eric Clough, of 723 Cloversfields Drive, Stevensville, Md., was arrested for DWI by Charles County Sheriff’s Officer Brock Virts, on June 11, 2017, as he operated a 2017 Ford F-150 on Md. Rt. 5 at Renner Road, south of Waldorf, Md.
In a plea deal with Charles County States Attorney Anthony Covington, Clough entered a guilty plea on April 2, 2018, to DUI. THE DEAL: one year in jail with all the jail time suspended except for 104 days. Clough was committed to jail on that date and court records show that on June 13, 2018, he failed to pay the W/E fee. Attorney Crystal Barnett of Glen Burnie represented Clough in the plea deal.
On April 26, 2017, Clough was cited by Maryland State Trooper Sean Turpin for failing to control the speed of his F-150 Ford truck on Rt. 97 in order to avoid a collision. He paid the citation on June 20, 2017.
Clough was cited by Maryland State Trooper Cody Barbiche on Feb. 14, 2017, for failing to return to the scene of an accident involving property damage. Anne Arundel States Attorney Wes Adams dropped the charge on Aug. 9, 2017.
Clough was arrested for DWI by Maryland State Trooper Taylor on May 4, 2009, and in a plea deal in Queen Anne’s County District Court on Sept. 2, 2009, entered a guilty plea to DWI. THE DEAL: Sixty days in jail with all of the jail time suspended and a fine of $357.50.
The following excerpt about drug-free vessels from the Federal Register indicates that alcohol and drug testing should have been conducted by the Coast Guard and perhaps by the Maryland Natural Resources Police, even though the Coast Guard was the lead investigating agency.
Marine Casualties and Investigations; Chemical Testing Following Serious Marine Incidents
AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: This final rule revises Coast Guard requirements for alcohol testing after a serious marine incident to ensure that mariners or their employees involved in a serious marine incident are tested for alcohol use within 2 hours of the occurrence of the incident as required under the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1998. This final rule also requires that most commercial vessels have alcohol testing devices on board, and authorizes the use of saliva as an acceptable specimen for alcohol testing. This rule also makes some minor procedural changes, including a 32-hour time limit for collecting specimens for drug testing following a serious marine incident.
DATES: This final rule is effective June 20, 2006.
From TheLog.com: Coast Guard regulations establish eligibility guidelines for licensing in Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 10.201. Among other provisions in that section, “an applicant’s criminal record report may be used to determine that an applicant’s character and habits of life are such that the applicant cannot be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities of the license.”
The following biography is posted on the website of cheapeakebaycharterservices.com for Jamie Clough, captain of Hunter: The son of a 5th generation waterman, Jamie Clough grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. As a youngster, he lived on Parson’s Island where his father managed a hunting and fishing lodge. As soon as he was old enough, he guided hunting and fishing parties, continuing to do so through his teenage years. Today, he is a Charter Captain and avid fisherman specializing in light tackle casting for striped bass and other Chesapeake Bay species. He mates to fulfill his passion of introducing others to the excitement of targeting trophy fish on light tackle. He is the 2016 winner of the Kent Narrows Light Tackle Championship and has been on the team that won this prestigious tournament two out of the past four years. Utilizing his innovative light tackle techniques and encyclopedic knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay, he has caught literally thousands of trophy bass. With his outgoing personality and determination to share his love for fishing, every trip on the Wild Kat is an adventure when Jamie Clough is on board. He will also be Captaining the new light tackle fishing vessel coming to Chesapeake Bay Charter Services in 2018.
On his Facebook page, Jamie Clough posted the photo of his Coast Guard Captain’s License and the message:
“Officially Capt. Jamie Clough. Something I’ve always wanted to do. Looking forward to the future!!”
TIPS ON SAFE BOATING
The Safe Boating Campaign, a worldwide effort focused on responsible boating led by the National Safe Boating Council, shares important boating safety tips for boaters to make the most of Labor Day weekend.
“We believe wearing a life jacket is the simplest way to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones while enjoying a day on the water,” said Yvonne Pentz, communications director of the National Safe Boating Council. “As you make plans for Labor Day weekend, remember to have fun, make memories, and most importantly, boat responsibly.”
Boaters are encouraged to follow these boating safety tips:
- Take a boating safety course. Gain valuable knowledge and on-water experience in a boating safety course with many options for novice to experienced boaters.
- Check equipment. Schedule a free vessel safety check with local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons to make sure all essential equipment is present, working and in good condition.
- Make a float plan. Always let someone on shore know the trip itinerary, including operator and passenger information, boat type and registration, and communication equipment on board.
- Wear a life jacket. Make sure everyone is wearing a properly fitting U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- Use an engine cutoff device. An engine cutoff device is a proven safety device to stop the boat’s engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard.
- Watch the weather. Always check the forecast before departing on the water and frequently during the excursion.
- Know what’s going on around you at all times. Nearly a quarter of all reported boating accidents in 2017 were caused by operator inattention or improper lookout.
- Know where you’re going and travel at safe speeds. Be familiar with the area, local boating speed zones and always travel at a safe speed.
- Never boat under the influence. A BUI is involved in one-third of all recreational boating fatalities. Always designate a sober skipper.
- Keep in touch. Cell phones, satellite phones, EPIRB or personal locator beacon, and VHF radios can all be important devices in an emergency.