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Lewes, Delaware
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July 14, 2000     Cape Gazette
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July 14, 2000

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18 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, July 14 - July 20, 2000 'Fatal Attraction' captain says June 3 incident just an accident By Michael Short Early on June 3, the charter fishing boat "Fatal Attraction" ripped into the day marker at the entrance to Roosevelt Inlet. The 52-foot boat, on its way back from Cape May, sustained a fearsome wound, a gash estimated at perhaps 15 feet by seven feet tom into its fiberglass hull. Captain Bill Bayard, an experi- enced charter captain, guided the sinking ship through Roosevelt Inlet and ran it aground on the marshes near Angler's Mai'ina to save it from sinking in the Lewes- Rehoboth Canal. The boating accident, which oc- cured around midnight, is docu- mented. But rumor and uncertainty have swirled around almost every other aspect of what happened that night. Bayard was charged with two relatively minor offenses by state fish and wildlife agents following the incident and the U.S. Coast Guard has said that he failed a chemical test following the boat- ing accident. That could ultimate- ly lead to the loss of his captain's license, the license the Coast Guard requires for charter fishing boat captains. But Bayard said that the chemi- cal test failure was due to pre- scription drugs which can mimic narcotics, specifically a common- ly used antibiotic called amoxi- cillin which can mimic the effects of cocaine. He also said that when notified that he had failed the test, he immediately took another chemical test and passed that test. Bayard and his wife Donna say that accident has since taken on monstrous proportions in a small town in which he said he has been judged guilty until proven inno- cent. It's the downside of living in a small town where everyone knows everyone, the gossip that they say has been hurtful and most of all, untrue. "I've been tried and found guilty in the press already," Bayard said. "It's plain as day why it tested positive. I ran fight up there when it tested positive because I knew it could not be right." A passenger on the boat, 48- year-old John Doucette of Mills- boro, suffered broken ribs and was hospitalized for two days. Bayard injured his knees and shoulder. Bayard freely admits to having an accident, but he said the acci- dent was a result of his radar breaking within yards of Roo- sevelt Inlet and rainy, windy, weather conditions. There were no drugs, he said. There was no alcohol, he said. No one was killed. The ship did not sink. Five boats moored in the canal sustained minor damage caused by his wake as he traveled quickly to avoid sinking, he said. Rumors had circulated that as many as 29 boats had sunk. "It was an accident clear and simple," he said. "Bill is not a monster," Donna Bayard said. State fish and wildlife agents charged him with two counts, one of inattentive operation of a vessel and one of not immediately re- porting the injury of Doucette. Both counts were heard in Jus- tice of the Peace Court Two on Ju- ly 12. In both cases, Bayard pleaded to probation before judgement and was given a year of probation and fined a total of $225.70. The plea, is somewhat like a no contest plea. It is neither an ad- mission of guilt, nor is it an inno- cent plea. It says that Bayard will accept probation for a year and at the end of the time, the record will be wiped clean and there will be no charges on his record. Bayard said he called 911 when the injury to Doucette occured and he said that rather than inat- tentive boating, electronic failure and miserable weather caused the accident. He accepted the plea just to be done with the case, he said. The Coast Guard investigation, however, is far more serious. Lt. Mike Kaszuba, an investigating officer with the Philadelphia of- fice of the Coast Guard, said that Bayard has been served a com- plaint which states that he failed a chemical test. He declined to elaborate on the results, except to say that the test did not show alcohol. He has 30 days to respond to the complaint and could potentially lose his captain's license. Bayard said he has medical documenta- .tion that he was taking amoxi- cillin and he produced a list of prescription drugs that can mimic illegal drugs, taken from a docu- ment called "Pharmacology of drugs and alcohol." That list in- cluded amoxicillin. Kaszuba said that if Bayard challenges the finding and loses, he could lose his license forever. If he enters what is known as a joint motion, then he would vol- untarily go through rehabilitation, take part in an outpatient program and undergo several random drug tests. If that occurs, he could have his captain's license returned after a year if be is judged to be of min- imal risk. But for now Bayard has his li- cense. The boat is nearly repaired and is better than ever thanks to space age technology. Yellowfin tuna are running and charters are booked. He is confident he will be vindicated in a Coast Guard hear- ing, expected this fall. "People have boating accidents all the time. I didn't do anything wrong," he said. The 3L's in Real Estate! Location Location Location and List with Lou at Lingo's Lou Cristaldi...Realtor Office 227-3883 Jack Lingo Inc. Home 227-298, E-MAIL; DeBraak Continued from page 1 by piece and load it up for re- moval to a concrete recycling op- eration. The work will be done by Design Contracting out of Wilm- ington. Massey said the permit for the project will be issued Friday, July 14. In addition to the fencing, Massey said the demolition con- tractor is also required to mount blinking red lights on the fence to warn people of the site at night. A separate insurance policy is also required for the demolition. Ellis and his partner, Fran Gonzon, have approval for seven residential building lots on the site which is in excess of an acre. To be called DeBraak Preserve, the lots, said Ellis, will be surrounded by extensive landscaping to create the appearance of a preserve. El- lis said a few of the lots are under contract for sale. He is the listing agent for the lots being sold Fish kill Continued from page 16 But tests from the University of Maryland showed no sign of Pfi- esteria. A second round of DNA test re- sults from North Carolina labora- tories were received late on Thursday, July 13, and they also showed no evidence of Pfiesteria. Department of Natural Re- sources and Environmental Con- trol (DNREC) spokesperson Melinda Carl said the second set through the Prudential Gallo agency. The lots should be ready for construction within six weeks, said Ellis. "We had hoped to have the building down long before now, but it took us longer to get everything in order than we had thought. Our goal now is to get the job done as quickly and with as little disruption as possible to the city." Ellis said he is working on a way to get water to the site so the demolition can be watered down occasionally during the process to keep dust down. The DeBraak shell, which has never been occupied, was brought to its present state of completion in 1989. The consortium of owners who built the building that replaced the original DeBraak Restaurant and rooming house had plans for a restaurant. Those plans began to crumble however with a dissolution of the partnership and lack of consensus from the town government as to what would be allowed on the of DNA results means that DNREC is lifting its advisory is- sued Monday, July 10, against swimming, water skiing or other primary contact recreation in Pep- per Creek, the site of the most re- cent fish kill. On Wednesday, July 5, or early Thursday, July 6, one million dead menhaden were found in Bald Eagle Creek and Torquay Canal, an area at the extreme northern end of Rehoboth Bay. No lesions were found on those fish and there were no recreation advisories because Pfiesteria was never suspected. site. The building has long been con- sidered an eyesore and led to cre- ation of the Commercial Architec- ture Review Commission in Lewes to ensure that all future buildings are compatible with tho community in size, shape and style. There have been a number of efforts over the years to come up with another use for the site. The most serious was an attempt by a partnership to develop a motel - Dolphin Bay Resorts - on the site. That proposal was approved by a number of Lewes governmental entities but was struck down by Superior Court Judge Henley Graves, who ruled that a zoning variance sought for the motel had been improperly granted. Ellis and Gonzon looked at a number of different options for development of the Delaware Bay-front site but opted to go with a simple residential plan that required no special permits or variances and which they felt would be most acceptable to the community. On Monday, July 10, approxi- mately 50,000 juvenile menhaden were found in Pepper Creek, which is near Dagsboro. Some showed evidence of lesions, but test results have not indicated the presence of Pfiesteria. Division of Fish and Wildlife official Roy Miller said that no- other fish have been found dead in either kill. Two or more parts per million of dissolved oxygen is usually needed by fish to survive. Tests in part of Pepper Creek showed oxy- gen levels of less than one after the fish kill. 645-8457 1-8OO-61 O-8457 I " . , sq.n.a0000a00on| i:: ..... 100xISO Iot -- no sewer| " . .... fees, no HOA fees! II $137,000t I PAUL TOWNSENO CATCHES New Neighborhood /I THE south of Lewes, overlooking II HOME . L & R canal 188 single family FOR lots with amenities water available. YOUI JACK LINGO LEWES REALTOR