Sailboats Strike Overhead Power Lines in Chesapeake, Virginia (VA) | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Several sailboats have become entangled in overhead power lines in St. Julian’s Creek in Chesapeake, VA. Four vessels have struck the power lines in the last 7 years and 2 of those have caught fire and sunk, resulting in injuries and one fatality (2007). According to the Virginian Pilot, the most recent of these accidents took place in September of 2008. Fortunately, Dominion Virginia Power—the company who owns the lines—was able to shut off the line and no one was injured.


Apparently, the sailboats were following the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) northbound and became confused after passing through the Gilmerton Bridge, thinking that St. Julian’s Creek was a continuation of the ICW. The vessels’ masts then became entangled in the overhead power lines that hang 45ft above the creek. Following these incidents, a warning daybeacon has been placed near the creek and signs have been posted warning boaters of the low hanging lines. However, many local boaters wonder if these precautions will be enough to prevent future accidents.


About the Editors: Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, as well as the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY, who handle car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more.