Report: No malfunction in police boat accident

WAVY/Rob Rizzo

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — has obtained the accident report for a police boat incident that sent three Norfolk officers and two civilians to the hospital.

The patrol boat overturned at the Willoughby Marina the afternoon of Friday, March 21.

Photos: Police boat overturns

It was a clear day and no other vessels were involved in the accident, according to the report. Officer H.C. Springfield responded to the scene then went to DePaul Hospital in Norfolk to speak to the victims. During the investigation, Office Springfield learned the three officers, along with the manager and an employee of Willard Marine, had taken the patrol boat out to conduct sea trials that day. The victims all similarly recounted that the vessel was going around 40 knots when the operator made a starboard turn, then the boat flipped upside down.

The operator had two and a half months experience on the vessel and had completed a tactical course.

The report states mechanics found both engines were running properly before the accident and SAFEBOAT found no problems with the hull, motors or steering on the vessel.

Document: Incident report

After speaking with witnesses and reviewing evidence, Officer Springfield found “no evidence of gross operator error or equipment malfunction that contributed to the accident.”

None of the victims received serious injuries. The manager of Willard Marine broke his arm and one of the officers received lacerations.

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