Boating Accident News 12/26/2012

By Kristy Moore posted 12-26-2012 12:41 PM

12-18-12 MISSION BAY, CA High winds push fishing boat on rocks (12-19-12) Strong winds blew a small motorboat with 3 people on board into a rock jetty in Mission Bay Tue. night (12-18). The 2 men and a woman were fishing for lobsters with hoop nets in an open boat when their outboard motor quit. Winds pushed the boat onto the jetty in Quivira Basin and the boat was partially swamped. All 3 people managed to jump out of the boat onto the jetty. From there, they called lifeguards for help. The Nat’l. Weather Service had issued a wind advisory for the coast Tue. night. Lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum said that boaters need to take such advisories very seriously. “Small craft warnings are relatively rare for San Diego. When you get a gale-force warning, that kicks it up another notch, and your margin for error in these types of winds, especially when you have a little bit of swell, like we do in the channel — is very small,” Lerum said.“You don’t have much time, and any little thing that goes on — your motor conks out for whatever reason –you don’t have much time to recover from that.” The NWS wind advisory remained in effect through 2 p.m. Wed. (12-19). Forecasters said winds gusts up to 35 mph were likely. Read full story here.
12-18-12 CLEARWATER, FL 81-year-old woman dies after falling off boat near Caladesi Island (12-18-12) A husband and wife, both 81 y/o, were fishing Tue. afternoon (12-18) in the mangroves off Caladesi Island State Park when the woman fell out of the small boat and died. Beverly Barnes, 81, was pronounced dead after rescue workers transported her to Morton Plant Hosp. Her husband, Norman Barnes, was hospitalized at Morton Plant after he swallowed a significant amount of water while trying to rescue his wife, said Gary Morse, spokesman for the Florida FWC. The couple are believed to be seasonal residents who divide their time between Iowa and the Pinellas Co. area, said Clearwater spokeswoman Joelle Castelli. Officials say they were fishing in a small Jon boat anchored between Caladesi Island and the N. end of Clearwater Beach. Norman Barnes was sitting toward the boat's stern when he turned to find his wife missing from the bow, where she had been sitting. He dove in, pulled her out of the water, began administering CPR and called 911. Clearwater authorities got a 911 call from on a cell phone shortly after 12:30 p.m. Clearwater Fire and Rescue began to search for the boat. It took rescue workers about 20 min. to locate the boaters through the GPS on Barnes' cell phone. Beverly Barnes was in cardiac arrest when rescue workers arrived. FWC and the Clearwater PD are co-investigating the incident. There is nothing to indicate foul play. Read full story here.
12-18-12 SMITH MOUNAIN LAKE, VA Bass angler unhurt when boat strikes rocks along island on SML (12-18-12) No one was injured Tue. (12-18) around 11 a.m. when a bass boat began taking on water and was stuck along the shoreline of Christmas Tree Island on Smith Mountain Lake. Al Busch, deputy chief of the Smith Mountain Lake Marine Vol. Fire/Rescue said the angler, who lived nearby, apparently got too close to the shore and hit some rocks. He was unable to maneuver the boat away from the shore with either a fishing trolling motor or the boat's motor. "It took on a little water, but I don't think he ever got wet," said Busch. "And it was pretty windy down there," he added. He said the boat did not capsize. A fireboat towed the bass boat to Crazy Horse Marina. Read full story here.
12-20-12 WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL Hunters rescued at Crab Orchard Lake (12-20-12) Federal officers were called to rescue 4 hunters Thur. (12-20) after their boat capsized on Crab Orchard Lake. Geoff Donaldson, federal wildlife officer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said the Williamson Co. Sheriff’s Office received the 911 call around 10:30 a.m. Four duck hunters were returning to shore as weather worsened, but high winds and 2 ½ ft. waves caused their boat to flip over.
Three wildlife officers were on patrol in the area, and were able to get a boat on the water within 10 min. Donaldson said the hunters were in the water for about 25 min. No injuries were reported, although all 4 men showed minor symptoms of hypothermia. The investigation is ongoing, but Donaldson said preliminary evidence indicates only one of the hunters was wearing a lifejacket. Read full story here.
12-24-12 GEORGETOWN, SC Boat catches fire on Santee River (12-24-12) A boat caught fire just south of the Santee River near Georgetown Mon. (12-24). The USCG, state DNR and Charleston Co. emergency workers responded around 7 a.m. to the report of a fire aboard a 40-ft. vessel and found it fully engulfed, according to CG Lt. Christopher Weiser. No one was on board and no one was injured, according to Weiser, who said they’ve been in touch with the boat’s owner but didn’t know if the man had been on board before the fire. The fire was extinguished, and the boat is now grounded in a marsh area. The CG also responded to a boat fire near the Georgetown Bridge on Sun. (12-23). Two people escaped that boat and were picked up by rescuers. Neither of them were injured. Read full story here.
12-22-12 WINTHROP, MA Winthrop man rescued after boat capsizes (12-22-12) There was a frantic scene early Sat. (12-22) at the Pleasant Park Yacht Club after a Winthrop man’s boat capsized. The man was plunged into the water and was struggling against waves which were made steeper by 30 mph winds. “With the type of craft he was in he had no business being out there today with this wind,” said Chief Paul Flannigan, Winthrop Fire Dept. The man had no way to call for help other than to yell. A nearby officer heard the screams and quickly called for help. “As I got close I could hear him and I could actually see him hanging on to the anchor line,” said Officer Robert McFarland, Winthrop Police Dept. First responders were in the waters within minutes of McFarland’s call and pulled the man to safety. He did manage to get up on to the boat prior to the Massport boat coming to pick him up, but he was definitely in poor condition at that time. The water is about 40 degrees and he was in the water for about an hour. He was taken to Mass General Hosp. for hypothermia and he’s lucky to be alive. He’s very lucky that the police officer that was on the bridge was able to hear him because he freely admits he can't swim. He was discharged from the hospital hours later and is expected to make a full recovery. Read full story here.
12-14-12 OGDEN, UT Boater in Pineview Reservoir case guilty on all counts (12-14-12) A man accused of leaving an injured University of Utah scientist in Pineview Reservoir after she was struck by a boat and severely injured — and eventually died from her wounds — was found guilty on all 3 counts he faced Fri. (12-14). A 5-man, one-woman jury deliberated about 90 min. before finding Skyler Shepherd, 22, guilty of reckless endangerment and obstruction of justice, both misdemeanors, as well as failure to render aid, also a misdemeanor, in connection with the Aug. 21, 2011, death of Esther Fujimoto, 49. "We were pleased with the proceedings and the outcome," said Fujimoto's brother, Andy Fujimoto. "This communicates that there is justice for Esther, but that there's even a bigger cause we're fighting for. This tells us that as a community we ought to take care of each other and look out for each other." Shepherd's sentencing was scheduled for Jan. 23. He faces up to 2½ yrs. in jail. Esther Fujimoto was swimming with her sister near the Spring Creek area of Pineview Reservoir on Aug. 21, 2011, when she was struck by a boat allegedly driven by Colton Raines. Shepherd said he took the helm after Raines swerved and turned the boat around to check on the woman. He said Fujimoto told him she was OK and appeared angry, prompting Shepherd, Raines and Robert Cole Boyer to leave. Shepherd said he did not realize the woman was injured. Todd Grey, Utah's chief medical examiner, has testified that Fujimoto suffered "multiple chopping injuries" consistent with being struck by a propeller and ultimately bled to death. Andy Fujimoto said he had worried about the things his sister, a cancer researcher at the University of Utah, would not be able to do because of her death. Hers was a life committed to helping her fellow man, and the question of that duty to help others was a key factor in the case. Prosecutors argued that it is not reasonable to believe the men did not know they hit and injured Fujimoto. Defense attorney Glen Neeley said his client had no idea what had happened and made a mistake. He pointed out that Shepherd was the one who checked on the woman and was cooperative with police. Andy Fujimoto said he felt validated when the jury returned its verdict. He said he has confidence in the judicial system and is grateful for it. The cases against Boyer and Raines are set for trial in February. Boyer is facing a charge of obstruction of justice, a class A misdemeanor. Raines is facing the same 3 charges as Shepherd. Read full story here.

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