Boating Accident News 11/20/2012

By Kristy Moore posted 11-20-2012 09:39 AM

11-18-12 CARTER LAKE, IA Police save two whose boat capsized in Carter Lake (11-19-12) Four Omaha police officers plunged into frigid Carter Lake on Sun. afternoon (11-18) to save 2 people whose boat had capsized. The boaters and one of the officers suffered from exposure and early stage hypothermia, said Lt. Darci Tierney, a police spokeswoman. They were taken by ambulance to the Nebraska Med. Center and Creighton Univ. Med. Center and were expected to recover fully. The incident happened about 12:30 p.m. Officer Kelly Murphy, who was on patrol in the area, happened to see the boat capsize and called for help. Four other officers — Mark Kiley, Bryant Wheatley, Jake Bettin and Nick Andrews — rushed to the lake to help. They swam 50-60 yds. from shore to help the boaters, identified by police as Kay Dunn, 55, of Omaha and her son Nathaniel Nelson, 32.
The two could have died without the officers’ quick response, said Sgt. Jeff Baker. Firefighters arrived after police and offered blankets and medical care. Officer Kiley was taken to the hosp. with the 2 boaters. Buster, Dunn’s dog, was taken to the Nebraska Humane Society for care and was to be reunited with her. Read full story here.
Two rescued from the Shallotte Inlet after boat capsizes (11-19-12) Two people are safe after they were rescued by the USCG in the Shallotte Inlet when their boat capsized Sun. (11-18). A Good Samaritan contacted CG Station Oak Island watchstanders just after noon Sun., reporting a capsized boat and 2 people in the water with lifejackets. The flat-bottomed skiff capsized near Shallotte. Holden Beach and Tri Beach water rescue, along with CG Station Oak Island, assisted in the rescue. The 2 people found clinging to the overturned vessel were pulled aboard the rescue boat, already showing signs of hypothermia. They were then taken to the Inlet View restaurant, where they were met by a waiting ambulance crew. The victims were treated for hypothermia, and a CG Captain says their lifejackets helped save their lives. Read full story here.
11-18-12 HALF MOON BAY, CA Three fishermen rescued from capsized boat (11-19-12) Three fishermen were thrown overboard Sun. morning (11-18) after a powerful wave knocked their boat over about a mi. W. of Pillar Point Harbor. One victim managed to climb onto the overturned boat and the other 2 fishermen remained in the water until a passing fishing boat managed to rescue them. The victims remained in the freezing water for about an hr., and one of them suffered some painful jellyfish stings, but they were all rescued without major injuries. Fishermen on another passing vessel spotted the capsized boat and called for help around 8:43 a.m. The other vessel reportedly could not approach to help because the reef swells were too dangerous. Several emergency agencies working together sent out rescue boats and a helicopter to save the victims. Before the rescue boats arrived, the fishermen who reported the emergency were able to get near the capsized boat and pull up the 2 overboard victims. Harbor officials delivered all 3 victims back to land and they were treated for minor hypothermia. The 3 were identified as a father and 17-y/o son from E.Palo Alto and a friend from Redwood City. They were all taken to Kaiser Permanente Med. Center in Redwood City. Read full story here.
11-18-12 KINGSTON, MA Fall River brothers rescued by another pair of brothers after boat capsizes (11-19-12) A local man and his brother are being hailed as heroes after rescuing 2 capsized boaters from the frigid waters of Cape Cod Bay. Richard Greenwald and his brother, Tommy Menendez, were fishing about a mi. off Gurnet Point Sun. morning (11-18) when through his binoculars Greenwald spotted what first looked like a dolphin cresting in the distance. On closer inspection, Greenwald realized he was looking at the capsized bow of a boat. A local truck mechanic, Greenwald immediately steered toward the boat to investigate. His brother, visiting from New Jersey, tapped repeatedly on the overturned boat to determine if anyone might be trapped beneath. Greenwald, meanwhile, focused his binoculars out to sea while making ever-expanding loops around the capsized boat. While still wondering if perhaps the boat had drifted out to sea in last week’s storm, Greenwald spotted a cooler floating about ½ mi. farther out into the Bay. As the brothers neared the cooler, they spotted another pair of brothers, from Fall River, bobbing in the 47-degree water beneath orange life vests and clinging to the cooler. “We thought they might be dead, but when we got by the cooler they said, ‘Help, please help,’ ” Greenwald said. “We just grabbed them and pulled them in the boat.” Greenwald said the Fall River brothers had been in the water for at least 45 min. and could no longer feel their legs. They said they had also been fishing and their boat filled with water and capsized after the bilge became clogged with leaves. They were afraid they would not survive much longer and were saying their goodbyes when they saw Greenwald’s boat. “There were 4-5 ft. swells,” Greenwald said. “It must have been a scary feeling. We were the only ones out there.” The Fall River men did not have time to call for help before their boat went under, Greenwald explained. But he had called 911 as soon as he spotted their life vests. A Plymouth police boat met Greenwald and Menendez en route back to shore and led them to the paramedics waiting at the state boat ramp. Police said one of the men refused med. treatment. The other was taken to Jordan Hosp. for treatment of a mild case of hypothermia. Plymouth Police credited Greenwald and Menendez with savings the Fall River brothers’ lives. Read full story here.
11-17-12 SALTAIR, UT Boat capsizes in Great Salt Lake; 2 dead Authorities have identified 2 men who died after their boat capsized in the Great Salt Lake as Chad Tohinaka, 25, of Salt Lake City, and Logan Hardman, 25, of W. Jordan. Unified Police said Tohinaka, Hardman and a 24-y/o friend were duck hunting near Saltair Sat. afternoon (11-17) when strong winds caused their boat to take on water.
“The 3 victims stayed with the boat for about 15 min., at which point one victim swam to shore to seek help,” said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. “The others stayed with the boat.” At about 7:15 p.m., authorities launched a massive search involving boats, ATVs and at least one helicopter. About 2 hrs. later, searchers found the hunters’ flat-bottomed boat. The bodies of Tohinaka and Hardman were located at about 11 p.m. Police said none of the men were wearing lifejackets. Read full story here.
11-16-12 NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL Officials investigate boat crash on Intracoastal local10.c0m (11-18-12)  Five people are recovering Sat. (11-17) after a boat crash on the ICW in N.Miami Beach. It happened late Fri. night (11-16). The boaters were rushed to the hosp. Patrons at Duffy's Sports Grill reported seeing a boat racing down the waterway. A few min. later, the USCG passed by as well. "All of a sudden we saw a speed boat racing real fast. I would say its going more than 60 mph," said Chris Vaca.
Witnesses said at least one of the boaters was seriously hurt. "I could tell the 2nd and 3rd persons really had a bad time. They couldn't even say anything. They were in shock," said Vaca. The Florida FWC is investigating whether the boat was speeding and if alcohol played a role in the crash. Read full story here.
11-17-12 EMERALD ISLE, NC One man hospitalized after boat takes on water (11-17-12) One man was hospitalized after being pulled from the water Sat. afternoon (11-17) in Emerald Isle. The Emerald Isle VFD received a call at around 3:40 p.m. to respond to a boat that was taking on water in Bogue Inlet, said Fire Captain Jeff Strawser. The USCG was already on scene when Emerald Isle VFD arrived, and the 2 men were on board the CG boat. One of the 2 men had fallen into the water and was experiencing mild symptoms of hypothermia. He was transported to Carteret Gen. Hosp., where his current condition is unknown. The other man did not require any med. treatment. CG crews transported the uninjured man and their recreation fishing vessel back to shore. The incident is under investigation. Read full story here.
11-15-12 NEWBURYPORT, MA Sailor presumed drowned in Merrimack River (11-19-12) After 2 days of intensive efforts, the search for a German man who presumably drowned in the Merrimack River Thur. night (11-15) has been called off, according to rescue officials. It is believed 51-y/o Richard Decker, who has been living on a 37-ft. Endeavor sailboat moored in the Merrimack on the Salisbury side off Cashman Park, fell into the roughly 40-degree water sometime around 9 p.m. on Thur.
Local and state police dive teams entered the water Fri. (11-16) and were aided by a sonar-like device that can pick up objects at the bottom of the river. But after 2 days of diving, authorities decided to give up the search. Newburyport police City Marshal Thomas Howard said his dept. and the USCG would continue to search on land for clues related to Decker’s disappearance but acknowledged there would be no more underwater searches. “We searched extensively for 2 days and came up with nothing,” Howard said. Both Howard and Newburyport Harbormaster Paul Hogg said the current at the point of the river where Deck disappeared is strong, but Hogg added it was the very chilly water that played more of a factor in Decker’s presumed drowning. “Once you hit that cold water, that cold, cold water, it is almost impossible,” Hogg said, referring to climbing back on board a swamped boat. “To keep on putting the divers in the water, it’s more of a risk to the rescue team.” A similar drowning occurred in the same general area of the river in the late fall of 2002, when a 44-y/o man was attempting to step from his sailboat into his dinghy. The man fell in and drowned; although the search ranged far up and down the river, his body was recovered on the river bottom, within a few yds. of the boat. Decker is a German national who grew up on the Rhine River and has been living in the North Shore area for several months, according to a friend of Decker. He had purchased the sailboat earlier this fall and had been working on it at a Haverhill marina, before putting it in the water about a month ago. Police are still trying to piece together what happened to Decker, but it appears while in the dingy, he had tried to cut a rope that had become entangled around the sailboat’s propeller when it flipped over. It’s believed that Decker left his dog tied to the pole at the shoreline because the dog was afraid of the tipsy dinghy. Authorities think Decker planned to bring the sailboat to Cashman Park to pick up his dog. A search of the sailboat showed that Decker wasn’t wearing a life preserver. But with such cold water, it might not have made a difference. The search began for him on Fri. morning (11-16), after police gathered 2 important pieces of evidence. On Thur. night, police received a call about a dog tied to a pole at Cashman Park. They identified the dog, a Siberian husky named Toleman, as belonging to Decker. The following morning the CG discovered his overturned dingy tied to his sailboat, and upon boarding the sailboat found no one onboard. Local and state police, along with the CG, began an extensive search of the area. Much of Fri., a Coast Guard helicopter patrolled around the immediate area, as well as up the river as far as Merrimac and down to the ocean. Rescue efforts were hampered by what is called “flood tide,” a twice-yearly event in which abnormally high tides occur, sending a strong surge of water up the river. Visibility in the water was limited to about 3-4 ft. Read full story here.
11-16-12 MELBOURNE, FL 4 boaters, dog OK after boat capsizes in Indian River (11-16-12) Four people and a dog were rescued from the Indian River after a 15-ft. boat capsized in the choppy waters N.of the the Melbourne Causeway. Melbourne police were called to the causeway about 1:30 p.m. Fri. (11-16) after the vessel flipped over, plunging the boaters into the chilly water. “They’re fine, being treated for minor injuries.  The dog is a little tired but fine,” said Sgt. Mike Casey, spokesman for the Melbourne PD. The 4 people and the 45-lb. dog were taken to Front Street Park where they were given blankets to warm up and treated by paramedics. At least one person was taken to a nearby hosp. while animal services checked on the dog. Two of the boaters managed to swim to a nearby piling -– about 75 yds. from the shoreline -- with the dog in tow while the other 2 clung to the overturned vessel.
Indialantic firefighters launched jet skis to assist with rescue efforts.  The Brevard Co. Sheriff’s Office also assisted with searching the area for the boaters. Read full story here.
11-18-12 EMERALD ISLE, NC Stranded kayakers assisted by Coast Guard near Emerald Isle (11-19-12) Chilly waters and no lifejackets. A dangerous combination that almost turned tragic. USCG officials have a stern warning for anyone who wants to head out on the water just one day after a double rescue. Members of Emerald Isle's CG station rescued 2 people Sun. morning (11-18) after their kayak capsized in a marsh near Bear Island. The water temperature was around 58 degrees. After just 10 min. in the chilly water, the kayakers were already showing signs of mild hypothermia. CG Petty Officer Matt Kinsman  says anyone planning on taking any sort of vessel out in open water should be aware that conditions can change very quickly. Especially this time of year. "About an hour after we got them back, NOAA kicked up their advisory to a gale force winds advisory. When we got them it was simply a small craft advisory. So had we not been able to get them, they would have been stuck out there. And the winds were 10 knots faster and the temperatures dropped about 10 degrees." The kayakers were not wearing lifejackets. Read full story here.
11-16-12 SAN DIEGO, CA Fire reported at Perez Cove in Mission Bay (11-16-12) San Diego firefighters knocked down a boat fire in Mission Bay, just W. of SeaWorld San Diego Fri. (11-16).
The 27-ft. vessel on Perez Cove reportedly caught fire at 6:10 a.m. No one was inside the boat. Investigators are now trying to locate the owner. Read full story here.
11-15-12 BRUNSWICK, GA Body of missing hunter recovered Saturday from Altamaha River (11-20-12) The body of a hunter missing since Thur. (11-15) was recovered Sat. afternoon (11-17) from the Altamaha River. Donald Floyd, 63, was apparently returning from a hog hunting trip on the river when his boat hit a stump under the water and was disabled. “It looked like he was trying to get home,’’ said Jay Wiggins, director of Glynn Co. Emergency Mgmt. Camden Co. divers brought Floyd’s body to the surface downstream from Altamaha Park. On Nov. 21, 2008, Floyd’s brother-in-law, the Rev. Jimmy Byars, 50, set out in the same 14-ft. Jon boat and didn’t return. The boat was found circling with its motor running just downstream from the park. The body of the Baptist minister was found Dec. 1, 2008. Byars wasn’t wearing a life preserver then, and Wiggins said Floyd wasn’t either. “There were plenty of lifejackets in the boat,’’ Wiggins said. Read full story here.
11-19-12 TOWN OF BURNETT, WI Hunter stranded in Horicon Marsh after losing track of boat (11-20-12) A stranded hunter was located after concerned family members called the Dodge County Sheriff’s Dept. Mon (11-19). Family members went looking for the 75-y/o Horicon man when he failed to return home after a day of hunting. They found his truck parked at a boat landing on the E. side of the Horicon Marsh, but there was no sign of the man. They called the sheriff’s dept. at 7:18 p.m. The man had become stranded on a small island when he was unable to locate his boat. He was not carrying a cell phone or any survival equipment, except for a small flashlight. The man was stranded in the rain, with falling temperatures. Rescuers spotted a dim light at 8:07 p.m. and were able to locate the man, but were unable to reach him without a boat. The hunter, who was uninjured, was between 1 and 1 ½ mi. away from the landing. A boat arrived at 8:41 p.m. and the man was taken back to the dock. Read full story here.

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