ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)–Lucky to be alive. It was quite a scare for a group of boaters involved in an accident near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Rick Ritter has more on the dramatic rescue and a warning for those on the water this summer.

All seven passengers were left stranded in the water, police say it’s an accident that certainly could’ve been tragic.

Capsized and stranded, these pictures shed only a glimpse of a Memorial Day scare on the water.

On Monday afternoon while leaving a ceremony, Lt. Aaron Parker and Natural Resources Police come across an overturned  boat in Whitehall Bay near Annapolis.

“I’m like what kind of boat is that, that doesn’t look right and then as we got closer we realized it was an overturned boat, people hanging on,” said Acting Lt. Aaron Parker.

7 passengers–fighting desperately to cling on to the 20-foot vessel and not drift away.

“You could tell the urgency for them to get out of the water. As we pulled up they all started grabbing towards us, trying to get out,” Parker said.

Authorities say the boat was only going about 10 mph when it struck a hidden sandbar–sending the vessel and passengers tumbling over.

Luckily, the group had life vests. DNR police are able to pull all seven to safety and tow the roughed up boat to shore.

The sandbar or shoal is just one of many tough to see near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge–a lesson for any boater not using water charts or who’s unfamiliar with the area.

“Of course the boat stops instantly, but all of the people don’t. They continue at whatever speed they were going before hand,” said Parker.

An accident that very easily could’ve been deadly.

“If they weren’t able to get their life jackets on it could’ve been multiple fatalities,” said Parker.

Police say alcohol was not a factor. Luckily, no one suffered serious injuries.

The National Weather Service say a small craft advisory remains in effect until Thursday – creating hazardous wave conditions.

Rick Ritter

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