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Caught on camera: DC police boat wipes out two docked at Georgetown’s Washington Harbor.

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Video from Ajay Jaafar as a police boat from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC hit two boats docked at Georgetown’s Washington Harbor on Saturday. Luckily no one was on the two docked boats and there were no injuries.


A District of Columbia police boat struck at least two vessels on the Potomac River near Georgetown, causing one smaller boat to partially sink.

Witnesses say a harbor patrol boat was making a U-turn Saturday evening about 7 p.m. when it struck at least two other boats docked at the Georgetown waterfront. No one was hurt in the crash.

One boat was flipped on its side and was left partially underwater along the waterfront overnight.

The U.S. Coast Guard and D.C. police responded to the scene and have launched an investigation. The investigation continues to determine what caused the crash.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • ltfd seattle

    Training, training, training- and continual situational awareness! The update of NFPA 1670 requires that departments using boats for technical rescue operations (water rescue) have in place a training program equivalent to the NASBLA Boat Crew Member training program. If you use boats, train all of your personnel to maintain a watch at all times. When the vessel is underway, the operator/helmsman/coxswain continually looks at the surrounding environment. Other personnel can adjust the radio, tune the radar, send a text as needed- not the helmsman.

    As the SAFE Boat International trainers told us, “Only go as fast as you want to hit something”.

  • Jeff

    Remember officers its a boat not a car. It don’t stop or handel like a car does on land. While you may try a turn like that you are still going to continue to move some distance in the direction you were pointed before made that sudden turn.

  • http://msn retiredFFin SC

    Just a cocky cop hotdoging .

  • Monday Morning QB

    That maneuver alone, at that speed, was dangerous. That maneuver, at that speed, that close to the shore, was incredibly ignorant. I suspect that the boat that they hit will be totaled. Probably a 75k boat.

  • Retired Chief

    At least this negative press doesn’t involve the Fire Chief.

    • JustSayin’

      It does remind us of Souperman’s leadership style ….

      Reckless, out of control and harmful to others …


    Somewhere, LRB is watching the local news and muttering “Oh, thank God!”

    You can’t fix stupid. The turn was obviously necessary, because at that speed the stone wall in front of them would have really hurt. Now, about that speed, somebody’s got some real ‘splainin’ to do.

  • David S.

    Glad no one was injured and this was totally inexcusable by these cops. I hope they have good insurance.

  • Jimmy McCommenter

    Another entirely non-fire department related incident involving a police department posted to fuel the stupid, dangerous rivalry that causes bizarre, unprofessional behavior by both police officers and firefighters on emergency scenes across the country?

    Here we will see dozens of comments from firefighters across the country ranting about how boneheaded and stupid those dang police officers always are. Meanwhile, police officers are ranting and raving about all the insane, but similar behavior from the firefighters.

    This kind of post doesn’t correct any unsafe behavior from anyone, instead it potentially causes a quick tempered firefighter somewhere in this country to throw a log on the anti-police fire, which may show its face out on a traffic accident on an interstate highway, creating a dangerous situation for everyone.

    There’s nothing I hate more than the usually unfounded anti-police feelings many firefighters have, and vice versa. Leave this news story to a police blogger, so police officers can say “i’m glad nobody was hurt, in the future i’m going to do this differently in my department so a similar incident doesn’t occur.”

    To reverse the situation, if a police blogger posted a story about a volunteer fire department tanker taking a turn to fast and rolling, many of the police officers would comment on how boneheaded the driver was, and wouldn’t take away any learning points to prevent something in the future – it would just be another anti-firefighter log to burn.

    No, i’m not a secret DC police officer invading Statter911 with a hurt feelings report – Dave you have been in Media much of your life if i’m correct, you know how a story can sway opinions far beyond simple reporting of facts, maybe this is the kind of story to pass on to another blog?

    • dave statter

      The reason I ran this video is because the fire service operates boats in DC and throughout the country and faces similar situations. To me it’s an interesting video that is a lesson for anyone operating on the water whether their vessel is blue or it is red.

      I am not trying to fuel anything about police. While my concentration here is clearly focused on fire and some EMS, I believe this video is very relevant to what they do. It is not unusual for me to stretch the boundaries of this site.

      No matter what I post, someone will put up comments supporting their own agenda (whether it’s police bashing, media bashing, Obama bashing, or Statter bashing). I gave up worrying about what I can’t control a long time ago and concentrate on what little in life I do have authority over. And while there are stories I have passed on to other blogs, I am not the least uncomfortable with the decision I made on this one. Sorry you are and sorry to offend. I expected that at least one person would have this reaction and I wasn’t dissapointed.


      • CHAOS

        Dave, just think how much less stress you’d have in your life if you’d just let other people decide what to post on your blog.

      • Mobella

        50 percent of the cops in DC on the police boats are “summer stock”….they go through 2 weeks of boat training and are then allowed to go off on their own as harbor police officers. The senior guys at the harbor police went through a year of training to operate a boat, likewise the firefighters assigned to the fire boats in DC go through 6 months of deck hand and a year of training before they can operate a boat. If you want to blame anyone blame the Lt at Harbor for requesting additional summertime help with little or no training for the officers. This was bound to happen sooner or later. You dont turn a boat like this and make a huge wake against a dock with millions of dollars of boats tied up, not to mention the people that could hav been hurt. Cop was being a hot dog trying to show off for the tourists, but this is the level to which he was trained.

      • http://msn retiredFFin SC

        Well said Dave. We are all brother and sister in blue and red

    • RJ in florida

      UH…firefighters do get bashed on

  • Legeros

    Wipe out.

  • Fire21

    As we do with most fire videos, we’re judging what we’re seeing, while not knowing exactly what was going on. I know we like to cross-bash each other (Fire/LE/EMS), but it never does anyone any good except to make ourselves feel a bit more superior. We’ve all done dumb things. Like they say, if you haven’t failed, you’re not trying to succeed.

  • theFiddler

    Do’h, a pier, a nearby pier,

    Ray – a drop of golden sun (in my eyes)

    Me – a name I use to hide myself

    Fa – a long long way to run (from the boss)

    Sew – a needle pulling stitches

    La – the laughter from the shoreline

    Ti – better than a T bone collision

    Which brings up back to D’OH!

    All together now …..

  • Ex-Lt . Mark

    Jimmy, don’t over analyze the intent of the video. If you follow this blog at all ,you will see the posts and comments do not discriminate against anyone or group. It doesn’t matter Police, Fire or EMS if you do something unsafe, uncalled for or unbelievable you will hear about it. The main objective should be that we all learn something from it. A few months back Dave posted a video recording of the Uniontown PA. fire chief confronting a civilian at a fire scene . I can’t recall any other post that generated such a reaction from his readers. It in no way did a favor for the fire service but bringing it to the forefront made a lot of public safety personel think real hard .We all can decide right and wrong. That’s why I subscribe and read this blog to learn and anilyze situations a little more when your out there doing your job . We shouldn’t be concerned what fire says about police or police about ems and so on. We should all be concerned how the general public and taxpayers view our actions, that’s the more important lesson here.

  • Steve vonBriesen, DCFD Retired

    Don’t know who is operating this vessel however there is in my perception a disconnect between location,(busy Georgetown Harbor), awareness, proximity to other vessels, skill in operating the Zodiac public safety boat and priority of call being responded to.
    Could be rookie mistake or veteran’s misjudgment. I am sure the operator clearly understands the mistake he made and regrets it.
    I discount any inferences made to hot-dogging etc.
    To LtFD Seattle, these DC Marine public safety professionals, Fire and Police, receive training that far exceeds the newby boat guy training designed by the NASLBA courses.
    I cannot speak to the cause of this operators misjudgment, only to the DC fire and police agencies professionalism, training and volume of marine related emergency calls, (some of the busiest marine public safety agencies in the country)

  • Skipper Sam

    Reminds me of a cop in California, who while boating at night in his speed boat, wrecked into an anchored sailboat killing someone aboard. The cop hid while sobering up, and the Sheriff arrested the Sailboat Captain for allegedly not having on a mooring light.

    I bet this cop would have tried to say the boats were docked illegally.

  • Mobella

    Steve – I know in 13 years you were at the fireboat the harbor police training was intensive for their boat operators- this year for the first time their Lt decided to take cops from the street and do a quick training session in boat operating- then let them go on their own in the river. Only for the summer. There ya go…

  • retired firefighter

    well, it did happen in DC where there is always something to report on. Remember, the public is always watching (and typically filming as well.) I am sure the citizens sleep safer at night knowing folks like this are driving the boats that were probably purchased to protect them from all of the terrorists. Makes me wonder if the same guys are given firearms?

    Reminds me of the video where the Apache Helicopter is doing aerobatics about a ground unit to impress them. Everything was exciting up to the point where he crashed a multimillion $ helicopter into the ground!