Boating Accident News 10/12/2012

By Kristy Moore posted 10-12-2012 01:21 PM

10-10-12 NAPLES, FL Naples fire raises concerns for boat owners (10-11-12) A sailboat fire in downtown Naples Wed. night (10-10) has raised several concerns for boat owners and officials. The Naples FD responded and was able to put the flames out fairly quickly. But they say if the fire had spread to other yachts, they may not have been able to get the job done. Art Rodriguez found his boat right next door to one in flames on Wed. night. "My landlord called me and said there was a fire and it might involve my boat," he said. The electrical fire on the 40-ft. boat "Eve" brought fire crews to the Naples Cove Inn - rolling hoses through the hotel lobby just to put out the smoke. "We're very fortunate. It could have been a worse scenario," Rodriguez said. The fire could have sent multiple nearby boats and yachts up in flames. Naples Fire Chief Stephen McInerny says that's a situation they're not prepared for. "We have a lot of boats. Common sense would dictate you need tools and resources to fight fire on water," he said. The dept. currently has a small rescue boat – one that Chief McInerny says isn't equipped to get the job done. "It just doesn't work. That is why, he says, it wasn't even an option to use it during Wed. night's fire. That's a big concern for boat owners like Rodriguez. "You want the best protection you can get on the water," he said. Luckily, crews were in position to put the fire out on land. But they say it's only a matter of time before their lack of equipment catches up to them. "This time it happened on a dock, but next time it could happen 100 f.t out in the water, then what?" Rodriguez asked. McInerny says they need a whole new boat with a pump that can allow them to use 450 gal. of water per minute. The current boat's pump only allows for 125 gal/min. The chief says he brought this idea to the Naples City Council and they are still reviewing the request. Read full story here
10-08-12  20-MILE COVE, AK Seward man dies in boating accident (10-11-12) Harold Moore, 69 of Seward, died in a boating accident Mon. (10-08) at 20 Mile River, according to Alaska State Troopers. Moore, along with Nathan Cone, 29, and Ronald Cone, 55, both of Anchorage were traveling upriver in a 16-ft. aluminum boat when the propeller got stuck on a log. As the river’s current pushed the boat backward into a log jam, the rear end of the boat filled with water and sank. Ronald Cone and Nathan Cone made it to shore and last saw Moore floating down in the river. Ronald Cone called 911 at 5:08 p.m. and 2 troopers and a U.S. Forest Service officer responded in a USFS jet boat to a location at 4.5 mi. upriver from the Seward Highway. Moore’s body was found by the officers on their way to rescue the 2 Cone men, neither of whom were injured. Moore was wearing a flotation suit, Ronald Cone had on a lifejacket, and Nathan Cone was not wearing a PFD. Read full story here
10-11-12 CHICAGO, IL Police rescue 5 from breakwall off Oak Street Beach Chicago Tribune (10-11-12) Chicago police rescued 5 boaters from a breakwall off Oak Street Beach Thur. night (10-11) after their boat lost power and drifted into the wall. The Chicago PD Marine Unit rescued the 5 people about 8:40 p.m., Chicago PD News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said. All 5 refused medical attention and the boat didn’t suffer major damage. The Chicago FD's marine unit also responded but police handled the rescue and towed the boat back to shore. Read full story here
10-09-12 PORTAGE LAKE, AK Boating accident on Kenai Peninsula (10-10-12) Troopers were summoned to Portage Lake on Tue. (10-09) to search for 50-y/o Larry Dobson, who is missing and now presumed dead. Dobson and his 51-y/o brother Dave, both residents of Sterling on the Kenai Peninsula, had paddled a canoe to the end of the lake on Mon. (10-08). Dave Dobson said that he and his brother had returned from a hike in the hills that separate Portage Lake from Whittier and discovered their canoe floating in the lake away from the shore. Larry Dobson attempted to swim out and retrieve the canoe when, according to troopers, he "began to struggle and eventually disappeared beneath the water surface. Dave ... jumped in to try and save his brother but returned to the shoreline shortly afterward." After his brother's disappearance, Dave Dobson told troopers that he spent the night on Portage Lake's shore. When he awoke the next morning he found the canoe had drifted back. Dave paddled back across the lake searching for his brother when he met a family member who came looking for the overdue brothers. Dave was taken to a hosp. to be treated for hypothermia. Troopers and Forest Service officials were then notified and have been searching the lake for Larry ever since. Read full story here
10-06-13 OCEAN CITY, MD Coast Guard Suspends Search For Missing Boaters Out Of OC (10-12-12) After searching a 20,000-plus sq-mi. area of open ocean for nearly 2 days, the USCG on Wed. (10-10) announced it had suspended the search for 2 missing boaters and their vessel, which left Ocean City early Sat. morning (10-06) bound for Chincoteague and did not report to their destination as planned. Brothers Michael Bramlett, 51, and Donald Bramlett, 54, left Ocean City in the 38-ft. sportfishing boat “Reel Fun” and were headed to Chincoteague. The Bramletts reportedly had recently purchased the vessel in New Jersey and were in the process of moving it to Florida. Around 8:30 a.m. on Sun. (10-07), Michael Bramlett’s wife contacted CG Sector Hampton Roads after the “Reel Fun” did not arrive in Chincoteague on Sat. as expected. The CG issued an urgent marine information broadcast and diverted the crew of the cutter “Mako”, an 87-ft. patrol boat based in Cape May to the area to begin search efforts. Initially, the search focused on the area between Ocean City and Chincoteague where the vessel was traveling. By Mon. (10-08), the search and been expanded to a vast section of the mid-Atlantic coast between Cape May and North Carolina. For the next 32 hrs., the CG searched for the missing boaters and their vessel  in a vast area of 20,400 overlapping sq. mi. using crews aboard an HC-130 Hercules helicopter and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City, and a 45-ft. response boat from Station Little Creek in Virginia Beach. At one point, the U.S. Navy ship Bunker Hill assisted in the search when they spotted a possible debris field and helped vector in the CG assets assigned to the search. On Wed. morning, the CG announced it had suspended the search for the 2 missing boaters.
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10-09-12 TACOMA, WA Man presumed drowned in American Lake after boat sinks (10-10-12) A 63-y/o man is presumed drowned on American Lake after the boat he was on sank Tue. afternoon (10-09). The man and his 65-y/o brother were out on the lake testing a 20-ft. boat. At some point, the men smelled smoke and their boat began taking on water, said Lt. Chris Lawler with Lakewood PD. The 65-y/o man had a life vest but the younger man did not. As the boat began to sink, the man without a life vest tried to swim the 200 or so yds. to the shoreline. He only made it some 75 yds. before going under. The older man yelled for help and was rescued by other boaters. A search for the man came up empty and now officials have termed the search as a recovery mission. The survivor said he and his brother were test-driving the boat, which they were considering purchasing. The victim has not been identified. Read full story here
10-10-12 NARRAGANSETT BAY, RI Captain of surveying ship rescues clam fisherman from sinking boat in Narragansett Bay Providence Journal (10-10-12) A Staten Island man is being credited with the rescue of a clam fisherman whose vessel capsized around 1:30 p.m. Wed. (10-10) in Narragansett Bay.
USCG officials say it was fortunate that the captain of the 40-ft. survey vessel Miami River, in the area on a dredging project, was able to come to the rescue since the man was already showing signs of hypothermia. The vessel's captain, Richard Cortese, an uncle of Deena Cortese from the MTV series Jersey Shore, threw a lifeline to the beleaguered fisherman about 300 yds. off Quonset Point and pulled him out of the water with the help of 2 associates. CG Lt. Catherine Valentine of CG Station Woods Hole said she could not release the fisherman's name but that the man, a Rhode Islander, was treated at the scene by North Kingstown rescue workers and taken to Rhode Island Hosp. Read full story here
10-10-12 LAKE POWELL, AZ Body of Scottsdale man recovered at Lake Powell (10-12-12) The body of a Scottsdale man who drowned at Lake Powell on Sept. 24 was recovered Wed. (10-10). According to information from the Nat’l. Park Service, the body of John Borden, 58, was found by the Glen Canyon Nat’l. Recreation Area Underwater Recovery Unit in about 100 ft. of water. The discovery ended the 16-day search in the Padre Canyon area of the lake. Borden had jumped on a Jet Ski without a life vest to help recover a drifting house boat. During the process, he picked up a passenger to help him. He ended up jumping into the water to retrieve a kill-switch lanyard on the Jet Ski, and the passenger was able to restart the Jet Ski and keep going to the house boat with Borden left in the water. When people returned to where Borden went in the water, he could not be found. "It's always difficult when the searches last so long," said GCNRA Superintendent Todd Brindle. "The entire team was focused on helping the family." Read full story here
10-11-12 SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY Mandated Boating Safety Course Becomes Law (10-11-12) Seated between 2 mothers who lost children in boating accidents, Suffolk Co. Executive Steve Bellone signed a bill Thur. afternoon (10-11) that will require boat operators in the co. to complete a safety course. The law will take effect one year after it is filed with the state so boaters will essentially have until the start of the 2014 boating season to take a course, which will be available through several organizations, including the USCG. "This is common sense legislation that many will say is long overdue," the bill's sponsor, Legis. Steve Stern, D-Dix Hills, said. The bill was signed following a deadly summer on Long Island's waterways. Lisa Gaines, whose 7-y/o daughter Victoria drowned along with 2 other children July 4th when the powerboat they were riding in capsized in the waters off Oyster Bay, sat next to Bellone as he inked Suffolk's Safer Waterways Act. "We have reached this point unfortunately because of the tragedies that have occurred on our waterways," Bellone said before he signed what he called "historic boating safety legislation," the first of its kind in the state. According to the CG, 70 percent of boating accidents are caused by operator errors. About half of the states in the country currently have some form of a boater education law. In NY, only those operating PWCs have to take a class. Boat operators 18 and older, however, currently face no such restrictions. Gaines said she wanted Suffolk's law in place before the next boating season, but with an estimated 75,000-100,000 boaters now required to take a course, Stern said it would be a "tremendous challenge" to get all of those boaters safety course certificates withing a year. Stern, however, said he believed there were enough resources–with several organizations yet to be identified that can offer courses–to get the training done before the weather warms up in 2014. Online courses are a possibility if they meet certain standards, Stern said. County officials said they hoped the bill's signing would spur other municipalities, including the state, to act, as the requirements in the bill only apply to Suffolk Co. residents and not those who may venture into local waters from out of the area. State Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-Merrick, has introduced similar legislation at the state level calling for mandated safety courses, as well as stiffer penalties for boating under the influence. Those bills are currently in committee and if passed next year when the Senate is back in session, the safety course law would then be phased in over 2 yrs. Once Suffolk's law is in effect, boat operators who cannot produce a safety course certificate will face a fine of up to $250 for a 1st offense and up to a $1,000 fine and a year in prison upon a 3rd offense.
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