Boating Accident News 10/30/2012

By Kristy Moore posted 10-30-2012 10:20 AM

10-28-12 CYPRESS ISLAND, LA Float plan helped save 2 missing boaters Sunday when their flat boat swamps (10-28-12) Tyler Smith, 24, of Iota, and Gus Atkinson, 28, of Gueydan, were found by search and rescue personnel at 9 a.m. Sun. morning (10-28) at Cypress Island in the northern section of Grand Lake. Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents were notified at 9 p.m. on Oct. 26 about 2 overdue boaters in the Grand Lake and Lake Arthur areas. LDWF agents immediately coordinated a search effort throughout the night with the USCG, Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office. Smith and Atkinson launched their 14-ft. aluminum flat bottom boat from the Hwy.14 boat launch on Lake Arthur. By 1:30 p.m. they were fishing at the “Catfish Locks” on Grand Lake. At 5 p.m. family members notified the 2 fishermen of a storm kicking up in the area. The men started to make their way back to the Hwy.14 launch, but ran into heavy winds and waves that swamped their boat. They were able to walk their boat to the shore area and bail out the water and get back underway. Shortly thereafter the 25-HP motor quit working and they were unable to get it started again. The men lost communications and decided to drag the boat to the shore area at Cypress Island and wait until help arrived. Family members notified authorities at 9 p.m. who searched until they found them this morning at 9 a.m. “These men did a lot of right things to survive this ordeal. The most important thing they did was that they had a float plan by notifying family beforehand where they would be fishing and the family knew about what time they should be back,” said Capt. Robert Buatt, who coordinated the search. “This float plan allowed the family to make a decision early on that they were missing and needed help. The men also were able to get the boat to an area that was less turbulent and safe once they knew they were not going to make it back to the launch.” LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident. Read full story here.
10-27-12 WASECA COUNTY, MN Teen Hunter Dies When Boat Capsizes in Minn. Lake (10-28-12) Authorities in Waseca Co. say a high school senior who went duck hunting with 4 friends has died after their boat capsized. The five were boating on Lake Elysian on Sat. morning (10-27). The sheriff's office received a call about 6 a.m. reporting people in the water. Authorities say 4 people made it to shore, and 2 were treated at a hospital and released. But Brady Hruska's body wasn't recovered for another 8 hrs. Hruska was a senior at Waterville-Elysian-Morristown High School. He was also a wide receiver on the football team. Read full story here.
10-28-12 MILFORD, CT One kayaker rescued, another still missing in Sound (10-28-12) One kayaker was rescued from the choppy Long Island Sound waters Sun. morning (10-28), while a 2nd man remains missing as Hurricane Sandy approaches. Milford Fire Capt. Thomas Thornberg said the FD had to call off its search as the waters became rougher ahead of the storm. Milford police also called off its search. The USCG is searching for a little while longer, state Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesman Dwayne Gardner said at 4 p.m. The DEEP is leading the rescue and investigation into the incident. The 2 kayakers, both men in their 20s, were in the Sound off Silver Sands Beach, near Charles Island, around 9:30 a.m. when they ran into difficulty, requiring rescue. One of the men was clinging to his kayak and was pulled from the water. He was taken to Milford Hosp. to be treated for hypothermia. Neither man was wearing a PFD. Thornberg warned boaters, kayakers and anyone else thinking of going into the Sound to stay away before, during and after the storm. Read full story here.
10-29-12 CAPE HATTERAS, NC Superstorm Sandy Ship Rescue Fills Chopper With Cheers (10-29-12) Cheers filled a USCG rescue helicopter Mon. (10-29) each time the crew plucked sailors from the churning sea roiled up by Hurricane Sandy, but one sailor was in critical condition and CG ships and planes are searching for one more crew member. Fourteen people were rescued from the tall ship HMS Bounty early this morning. A 15th person was pulled from the Atlantic hours later, but was unresponsive. That person, identified as Claudene Christian, was taken to Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City, N.C. Crews are still looking for Robin Walbridge, 63. The CG identified Walbridge as the ship's captain. Christian and Walbridge were washed into the sea when the 3-masted replica of the historic ship began taking on water. The crew was abandoning ship during the night when the hurricane flung them into the sea. "What we know is that the whole crew was getting ready to board the life rafts, and as they were about to board, 3 people ended up in the water. One was able to get out [of the water] and get into rafts," CG Lt. JG Brendan Selerno said. The Bounty, a 180-ft. replica of the ship featured in the film "Mutiny on the Bounty," was 90 mi, SE of Hatteras, N.C., when the owner called saying she'd lost contact with the crew Sun. night (10-28). A C130 plane spotted the wreckage Mon. morning and Lt. Jane Pena co-piloted one of 2 rescue choppers to the site and found one sailor adrift by himself wearing an insulated suit called a Gumby suit. Pena said he was spotted by the strobe lights attached to the suit. "We hoisted him up 1st thing," Pena said. "We then saw another strobe 1,000 yds. away. It was the ship. It had sunk, but 3 masts were sticking out." The C130 directed their helicopter to a life raft that had 7 survivors in a covered raft. Video of the rescue shows a CG swimmer being lowered into the water and one-by-one attaching the sailors to the hoist line. The first man brought up was especially happy to see us," Pena said. "He was very thankful. He kept telling them we were doing a great job. I did hear cheering every time someone was brought on board."  Peña said her rescue team were able to get an additional 4 survivors on board before they began to run out of fuel and had to head to head back to shore. A 2nd chopper picked up the remaining sailors. The survivors were taken to Air Station Elizabeth City on the North Carolina coast. Two people were admitted to the hosp., one with a broken arm and one with an injured back. The ship left Connecticut last week for St. Petersburg, Fla. The crew had been in constant contact with the Nat’l. Hurricane Center and tried to go around the storm, according to the director of the HMS Bounty Organization, Tracie Simonin. But the ship got caught in Sandy's fury and began taking on water. The cold water survival suits staved off hypothermia for the shipwrecked sailors.  Read full story here.
10-29-12 CHOCTAWHATCHEE BAY, FL Responders rescue one, search for second after boat capsizes in Bay (10-29-12) Officials are continuing to look for the missing Mary Esther man who fell out of his boat after it overturned early Mon. (10-29). Robert Gregory, 41, and his 18-y/o nephew, Tyler Carpenter from Fort Walton Beach, went out around 12:45 a.m. to gig for flounder in the Choctawhatchee Bay area. The exact time is not known, but at some point their 14-ft. aluminum boat began to take on water and then roll, according to Stan Kirkland, spokesman with the Florida FWC.
While in the water, the 2 men could only locate one lifejacket. Kirkland said Carpenter was given the life jacket, which enabled him to swim closer to shore. Carpenter was spotted around 7 a.m. yelling for help near the pilings by a motorist going over the Clyde B. Wells Bridge. He was taken to Sacred Heart Hosp. on the Emerald Coast and later released. Rescuers searched for Gregory until shortly before 6 p.m. They will continue the search Tue. morning (10-30). The boat was found partially submerged on the NE side of the bridge and had drifted some distance from where it actually rolled over. Kirkland said investigators found nothing significant in the boat to indicate what may have happened to Gregory. In addition to the FWC, the Freeport FD and Walton Co. Sheriff’s Office had boats in the water looking for Gregory. The Sheriff’s Office also used their helicopter to try to locate him. Later in the afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office dive team began to search under the surface of the water. On the bottom of the bay they located a bag of some kind of tools that had been on the boat, but had not found any signs of Gregory by sundown.
By 5:30 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office reported that the search effort had turned from rescue to recovery. Read full story here.
10-26-12 MORAINE STATE PARK, PA Hunter believed to have drowned at Moraine State Park (10-30-12) Rangers at Moraine State Park say raccoon hunter Brian Cornetti probably drowned in Lake Arthur while trying to retrieve the boat he used to hunt the animals at night. Rick Carson, supervisor of the rangers, said Mr. Cornetti, 54, of Prospect had just put his boat in the water Fri. night (10-26) when it apparently drifted away from the ramp, probably because of strong winds.
He shed his heavy clothing and boots and jumped in after it, from all appearances, and was likely overcome by the cold water. "The water temperature was 54 degrees," said Mr. Carson, a former raccoon hunter himself who had known Mr. Cornetti for 20 years and saw him often at the park. "He would have been able to swim for a few minutes. But in all likelihood, he drowned." Rangers found his pants, shirt, jacket, long underwear and boots on the dock and his coon dog, Ringo, in a cage in his pickup truck.
Most likely, Mr. Cornetti was about to go back to the truck to retrieve Ringo when he saw the boat drifting away and went in after it to climb aboard. Volunteer divers searched the lake over the weekend and rangers probed the water with sonar. They also deployed cadaver dogs and walked the woods and shoreline in case Mr. Cornetti made it ashore. Mr. Cornetti hunted raccoons to sell their pelts.
Mr. Cornetti was an experienced boater and hunter and in good physical condition at about 160 lbs. He could swim well, but the frigid water would have sapped his strength quickly. Rangers found a lifejacket in the boat along with a rifle. Read full story here.
Daytona Beach Police probing death aboard boat discovered Saturday (10-27-12) Daytona Beach Police are investigating the death of a man who was found deceased on a boat in the ICW Sat. morning (10-27). Daytona Beach Police spokesperson Jimmie Flynt says the man has been tentatively identified, but relatives have not yet been located. Police say the man had injuries to the back of his head, as though something on the boat had hit him. The boat also had damage suggesting that something had struck the vessel as well. Police say a boater passing by the 27-ft. sailboat off the Bethune Point boat dock, called police around 11 a.m. Sat. The caller reported seeing the deceased man “…lying over the railing...” of the boat which was anchored in the water. Daytona Beach FD crew members initially took the Daytona Beach Police Boat to the scene, and confirmed that the deceased man was on the craft. They then returned to dock and made a 2nd trip to the boat with police officers and firefighters who retrieved the body and brought it ashore. Read full story here.
10-26-12 NARRAGANSETT, RI Off-Duty CCFD Lieutenant Rescues 4 After Boat Sinks (10-27-12) Around 3:30 p.m. on Fri. (10-26), Central Coventry Fire Lt. Mike DeCesare and neighbor Leo Roy were wrapping up a long day of fishing near Bonnet Shores when DeCesare heard the sound of air horns in the distance. Soon after, he heard yelling and spotted a boat with 4 men on it.  "I thought that it was just a bunch of guys drinking and playing with the air horns at first," said Roy. "But Mike was sure it looked like they were taking on water. By the time I turned around again to look, just a few min. later, the rear end and motor of their boat had fallen right off. There was no way they could bail out and then they were in the water." Roy went on to explain that a nearby catamaran had been attempting to reach the men but couldn't maneuver to get them. While attempting to reach the USCG on his boat's radio, DeCesare hoisted anchor and he and Roy headed over to the group. "There were 4 men, older men and one was disabled with very little use of his legs," said DeCesare. "They were in the water for less than 10 min. when we got to them and started to pluck them out of the water." "We were having radio problems trying to get ahold of the CG and we had 3 of the guys in the boat by the time we got through to them but then they got to us in about 15 min.," explained Roy. "I don't think that anyone knew what happened, but my guess would be that it was an older boat and was just fatigued. They were right in the middle of the channel which is about 70 ft. deep so it could have turned bad really quick."
A report from the Southeastern New England CG Unit confirmed that the 4 men were transported safely back to port and did not require any medical attention. It is believed that the 16-ft. vessel sank after taking on water over its transom which then broke off, taking the motor with it. Read full story here.
Boat catches fire on Lake Champlain (10-26-12) A man is safe after his boat caught fire on Lake Champlain. Colchester police say the power boat caught fire near the entrance to Mallets Bay on Fri. (10-26). Police say the owner and operator of the boat, 46-y/o David Clow, was found floating in a partially deflated life raft about ¼ mi. away. He told police that he had been transporting the boat to a New York marina for winter storage when he smelled smoke and found flames and smoke near the generator and circuit board of the boat. He tried to extinguish the flames with fire extinguishers but was unsuccessful. Boats from the Grand Isle Co. fire and sheriff's depts, the Mallets Bay FD and USCG responded to the scene. The fire is being investigated. Read full story here.
10-26-12 LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE, NH Hamilton Man Rescued After Unmanned Boat Circles Him on Winnipesaukee hamilton-wenham (10-27-12) The N.H. Marine Patrol rescued a Hamilton man on Fri. morning (10-26) after he fell from his Boston Whaler while boating on Lake Winnipesaukee.
While Philip Lake, 45, of Hamilton had already been plucked from the water before the Marine Patrol officers got there, his boat was still circling at a high rate of speed. Witnesses on shore saw Lake go overboard and went into action, picking up Lake and bringing him back to shore just before 11 a.m. But his boat was still going. Lake went into the water on the inside of the very tight circle created by the boat as it traveled around him at a high rate of speed. Marine Patrol Sgt. Dave Ouellette and Sgt. Crystal McLain were eventually able to get a hold of the driverless boat - a 17-ft. 90-horsepower Boston Whaler - and stop it. It was towed back to shore. Lake was not injured and the boat was not damaged, the Marine Patrol said. The incident happened on the N. end of New Hampshire's largest lake, near the town of Meredith. The Marine Patrol said that Lake was not wearing a lifejacket and was not using the boat's safety lanyard kill switch, when he fell overboard. Read full story here.
10-26-12 MARSHALL COUNTY, KY Son saves father, friend after boat capsizes (10-25-12) Two men know they're lucky to be alive Fri. night (10-26) after their boat capsized in Kentucky Lake. Both men, from Jasper Co., Indiana, were in a bass tournament.  They launched from the Kentucky Dam Marina, and did most of their fishing in Paris, Tennessee. On their way back to the marina just after 5 Fri. afternoon, waves overwhelmed the boat, sending the men into the water near Pisgah Bay. The son was also in the tournament and had already docked his boat. But he got a call from his father, who was about 15 min. away.  His dad and dad's friend were in the water fighting for their lives. Art Kerns knows if his son had not come with him on this trip, he could be dead right now. It all started when fierce waves ripped off the boat's motor. The fiberglass fishing boat, started filling up with water, and capsized. "We just made sure we tightened up our lifejackets and stuff. We knew we were gonna go in before long, didn't take very long and the boat flipped," Kerns said. Kerns and his friend were in the water for 30 min. "We just kind of held on side of the boat until they got there," Kerns said. Their body temps. kept dropping. "It wouldn't been long he would've been in bad shape," Marshall Co. Rescue Squad Chief Carl Curtner said. Kern's friend was taken to the hosp., suffering from mild hypothermia. Both men were wearing lifejackets. The E. Marshall Fire Department assisted the Marshall County Squad in this rescue. Read full story here.
Retired couple recounts how sailboat capsized in Montcalm County lake (10-26-12) A dangerous move by John and Lee Ann London capsized their sailboat on Tamarack Lake on Thur. (10-25). London said if it weren't for their lifejackets and neighbors who called rescuers, they might not have made it to shore. The couple had set out on the lake Thur. for one last sail before they put the boat in storage. It began as a pleasant afternoon, but it wasn't long before the wind picked up and whitecaps formed on the water. "It was a good time handling it until I had trouble turning the boat, and I took a chance," John said. Severe wind made it too difficult for John to turn the 16-ft. boat into the wind. He attempted to turn the boat with it instead - a risky move, he said. A gust took hold, plunging the couple into the water. John quickly grabbed Lee Ann, who can't swim, and pulled her through the water toward a small island. The water was 6-8 ft. deep. After 30 min. of swimming, they reached the small island's shore, shivering. They wrapped themselves in a tarp and waited, not knowing that 2 neighbors had already called 911. Lakeview police and Montcalm Co. sheriff’s deputies responded and commandeered a small motorboat. They wrapped the couple in blankets until a larger patrol boat arrived to take them to shore. The accident left Lee Ann and John with just a few bruises.
Read full story here.

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