Boating Accident News 3/15/2013

By Kristy Moore posted 03-15-2013 03:42 PM


03-11-13 PEORIA, AZ 3 rescued after boat capsizes in Lake Pleasant Three people were rescued from Lake Pleasant north of Peoria Mon. afternoon (03-11) after their 12-ft.-long boat capsized near the Castle Creek area. All passengers of the aluminum fishing boat were wearing life vests and were not injured, said Sgt. Brandon Jones, a spokesman for the Maricopa Co. Sheriff’s Office. While looking for a spot to fish, a wave hit the boat and flipped it at approximately 3:30 p.m. Those in the boat were swimming to shore when deputies arrived and were taken to a boat dock by Sheriff’s Office and Peoria fire boats. Read full story here.

03-09-13 PAYSON, AZ Kayaker Dies In East Verde A kayaking trip turned deadly for a group of friends Sat. (03-09) when a veteran outdoorsman drowned in a remote stretch of the East Verde River below Doll Baby Ranch. The Gila Co. Sheriff’s Office on Mon.(03-11)  identified the drowned man as James McComb, 64, a Valley resident and avid kayaker. A Dept. of Public Safety rescue helicopter managed to remove McComb’s body at 11:30 a.m. Mon., almost 2 days after he drowned when his kayak overturned and was trapped in the eddy after he went over an 8-ft. waterfall in a remote area in the Mazatzal Wilderness. Despite the frantic efforts of his friends to paddle up to him or throw him a rescue rope, he was pulled under and drowned. The 4 people were kayaking from Payson to Fountain Hills Sat. when McComb flipped and could not right himself, said Lt. Tim Scott with the Gila Co. Sheriff’s Office. After finally retrieving his body, McComb’s friends then made the agonizing decision to leave his body and continue, since they couldn’t get a cell phone signal. The sheriff’s office didn’t learn of the events until late Sun. night when the group was able to get cell service. GCSO Search and Rescue Coordinator Sgt. Terry Hudgens learned that due to the remoteness and lack of cell service, the group decided to remove the body and leave it on shore, marking the location with a “highly visible object for easy locating by air.” The group took off Sat. during the snowstorm and had gone down eight miles when they encountered an 8-ft. waterfall, and class IV rapids (rapids are rated between a class I and VI based on difficulty). Three kayakers went over the fall successfully before McComb. McComb, who was in a longer kayak, followed, but got pinned at the base of the fall behind 2 rocks. Within seconds, McComb’s boat was covered in water and the other kayakers could only see a small red patch of his boat. McComb was pinned so severely there was no way he could right himself. The men quickly threw rescue ropes, but the ropes were immediately swept away by the current. Langhofer tried to paddle up to McComb but the current pushed him back. Another kayaker was finally able to attach a rope to McComb’s life jacket. The men then used pulleys to get his body out. The boat could not be retrieved from under the fall and the men left it. With 1,000-ft. cliffs surrounding them and no cell service, the men decide to leave McComb’s body on the shore and head down the river as quick as possible. They paddled another 28 miles downstream before reaching the lake and cell service. The storm had dramatically increased flows in the East Verde River. For instance, the Verde River normally carries about 700 cubic ft. per second, but on Sat., it jumped to 3,450 cubic ft. per second. Read full story here.

03-11-13 FORT WALTON BEACH, FL Fla. Firefighters Rescue Man Fallen From Jet Ski Firefighters rescued a man who appeared to be drowning in the Santa Rosa Sound Mon. afternoon (03-11). About 2:20 p.m. it was reported that a man was flailing in the water after falling off his Jet Ski. Two firefighters jumped in the water off a dock at Fort Walton Landing and swam out to the man with a rescue buoy and line, said Battalion Chief Shannon Stone with the Fort Walton Beach Fire Dept. They brought him back in and hoisted him onto the dock where paramedics could assess his condition. The man, who looked to be in his 50s, was conscious, but disoriented and obviously had an altered mental state. After initial treatment, the man was taken by ambulance to a local hosp. The Jet Ski was still idling in the sound when rescuers arrived. Read full story here.

03-13-13 SALEM, MA Sailor Rescued from Capsized Boat Off Salem Coast A man rescued from the waters off of Salem Wed. morning (03-13) was rushed to the hosp. to be treated for hypothermia. At 10:15 a.m., Salem Harbormaster Bill McHugh said emergency responders received a mayday report from a man whose 10-ft. sailboat had capsized off of "The Haste" near Misery Island. The man, who McHugh estimated to be about 4-y/o, was reportedly wearing a personal flotation device but didn't have a wetsuit on. He spent about 15 min. in the water. Members of the Salem police and fire depts. assisted with the rescue. The man was rushed to North Shore Medical Center to be treated for hypothermia. Read full story here.

03-14-13 CAPE CORAL, FL Boat stuck in the Caloosahatchee River freed A 42-ft. vessel stuck in shallow water of the Caloosahatchee River near Jaycee Park in Cape Coral has been freed. Richard Paul, co-owner of a commercial towing Co. said 2 boats were hooked to the large vessel to pull it free, which was made easier by the higher tide. There doesn’t appear to be any serious damage to the boat. The Cape Coral Fire Dept's. marine emergency team along with the USCG and other agencies worked on removing a 42-ft. vessel listing in the Caloosahatchee River. The boat ended up outside the channel and was caught by heavy winds, pushing it onto shallow waters and the rocks. The boat is stuck about 50-100 ft. off the coastline. The water was about 2-3 ft. deep where the boat is stuck. Read full story here.

03-14-13 LAKE GASTON, NC Fatal jet ski accident case resolved The court case involving a fatal jet ski collision that occurred on Lake Gaston July 5 has ended with a guilty plea and more than $500 in penalties. Daniel Sanderlin, 37, of Quakertown, Pa., pled guilty to operating a boat in a reckless and negligent manner, a Class 2 misdemeanor, in the Fourth of July weekend accident that caused the death of Marcus Jeffery, 39, of Virginia Beach, Va. Sanderlin was fined by Halifax Co. District Court Chief Judge Brenda Branch. In combination with court costs, the fine totaled $550. He’ll face no additional penalties. The incident occurred in Hamlin Creek between the Eastern Shores and Myrick Estates subdivisions in the Littleton area of Halifax Co. Jeffery was driving an older model jet ski with his 10-y/o son sitting in front of him, while Sanderlin, operating a jet ski for the first time, was following closely behind on a newer, more powerful model with his daughter sitting behind him. According to N.C. Wildlife Resources Officer Dustin Ethridge, who investigated the accident, Jeffery was driving a 1995 Sea Doo Bombardier and Sanderlin a 2006 Yamaha. Eyewitnesses said both were traveling north at a high rate of speed when Jeffery slowed to allow another boat to cross his path. Sanderlin let off the throttle and attempted a right turn, not realizing a jet ski is not maneuverable without thrust. Jeffery was hit in the rear, sending Sanderlin’s jet ski flying into the air before landing on the other side. Jeffery died at Halifax Regional Medical Center a short time later. The 2 men had met the night before while camping on the same lot off Drumgold Road. The other 3 people involved in the accident were uninjured. Read full story here.

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