Boating Accident News 3/29/2013

By Kristy Moore posted 03-29-2013 09:59 AM

03-26-13 LAKE HAVASU, AZ Man dies after falling from boat at Lake Havasu Authorities found the body of a man in Lake Havasu on Wed. morning (03-27) and have identified him as the same man who was reported missing after falling off a boat Tue. afternoon (03-26). Shortly before 5 p.m. Tue. , Mohave Co. Sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of a missing person at Thompson Bay after it was reported that 25-y/o Stefan Fowler fell off the bow of a pontoon boat and failed to resurface. Investigators presume Fowler was injured while falling. Fowler was a visitor to Lake Havasu. Deputies said he was not wearing a lifejacket. Dive teams from the Lake Havasu City PD, along with the Sheriff’s Office, searched the waterways and the shoreline Tue. evening, but could not locate the man. The Maricopa Co. Sheriff’s Office was brought it to assist in the search, which continued into Wed. morning. Teams used sonar equipment and found Fowler’s body just after 10 a.m. on Wed. An autopsy will be conducted and the investigation is still ongoing. Read full story here.
03-26-13 POPLAR BLUFF, MO 2 fishermen rescued from from Black River after boat sinks Two men are recovering after near-tragedy during a day of fishing in SE Missouri. It happened Tue. (03-26) on the Black River in Butler Co. Dallas Rich and his uncle, Tom Brozek, were fishing when their boat struck a log and capsized. The men began yelling for help. Tom Ames, who lives nearby, saw the men on a brush pile in the middle of the river, their boat completely submerged. Ames and his son went out in his boat and rescued the men. He took them back to his home, wrapped them in blankets and got them dry clothing. Read full story here.
03-24-13 PALM BEACH, FL Man rescued after boat flips off Palm Beach Shores A boater was rescued Sun. morning (03-24) after his 22-ft. boat flipped upside down in the ocean off Palm Beach Shores on Singer Island. The unindentified man was not injured in the incident, according to a USCG spokesman. A passing boat picked up the man about 300 yds. off the beach, just N. of Lake Worth Inlet after his center-console open fisherman-style boat capsized. Blustery SW winds at the time were gusting to more than 30 mph, according to the Nat’l. Weather Service. A commercial towboat righted the boat and towed it to safety. Read full story here.
03-25-13 MARCO ISLAND, FL Coast Guard, Collier deputies rescue 2 from sailboat The USCG and Collier Co. deputies rescued 2 people from a 37-f.t sailboat after it broke down in heavy seas 13 mi. SW of Marco Island on Mon. (03-25). Deputies contacted the St. Petersburg CG watchstanders around 7 p.m. They said they were able to retrieve one person from the boat but due to severe weather they couldn't retrieve the nd person, but no injuries were reported. The Fort Myers Beach CG crew launched in 8-ft. seas, and arrived on scene about 3 hrs. later. The crew was able to tow the boat and continued on the 7-hr. ride to meet a commercial towboat, which took over at about 5:20 a.m. and docked the boat at Marco Island Marina. "It is imperative that boaters check the weather before taking to the seas," said Lt. Mark Upson, a search and rescue watchstander at the sector. "Weather can be very unpredictable, so checking weather conditions can help boaters stay safe on the water." Read full story here.
03-21-13 KEY LARGO, FL FWC officer severely injured in boat incident Unanswered questions abound after a state marine officer was thrown from his boat Thur. (03-21) off Key Largo and ended up in the water, severely injured and clinging to his vessel until help arrived. Twenty-four-year veteran Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officer Wade Hefner was found hanging onto his 29-f.t patrol boat in South Sound Creek. It happened around 12:10 p.m. Friday, Hefner remained at Ryder Trauma Center in Miami and was "undergoing several tests at the hosp.," FWC spokesman Bobby Dube said. The extent of Hefner's injuries wasn't clear but Dube said he was told "there was a lot of blood, and facial injuries." Because of his injuries, Dube said Hefner hasn't been able to communicate the circumstances surrounding the accident. But one thing is clear: Hefner's FWC-mandated lifejacket is the reason he'll eventually be able to shed light on what went down. "He would have drowned," Dube said. "I don't doubt one bit that this would have been a different outcome if he didn't have it on." Dube said this much is clear: Hefner was responding to an ordinary service call when thrown from his boat. South Sound Creek is near marker No. 13, a roughly 10-min. boat ride from John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
Dube said a good Samaritan found Hefner clinging to the back of the vessel and called 911. The FWC responded with a crew from Key Largo Fire and EMS, and Hefner was brought ashore at Pennekamp, mile marker 102 oceanside. He was then flown to Ryder Trauma via Monroe County's TraumaStar air ambulance. Hefner's boat was not damaged and it's unclear how long he was in the water. Dube said it's also not known how fast Hefner was traveling, nor whether he lost control or something caused him to be thrown from the boat. "Some people say the engines were running when we got there, some people say they weren't," he said. "There are a lot of unanswered questions, but obviously the boat didn't go too far that he was able to hang on to it." The good Samaritan was not identified. Dube said the man apparently left the scene as FWC officers and paramedics were busy loading Hefner onto a backboard and taking him out of the water. Read full story here.

03-25-13 KEY LARGO, FL Iowa man found dead after boat trip in Fla. Keys Authorities say the body of an Iowa man who went missing during a boating trip in the Florida Keys has been recovered. The Monroe Co. Sheriff's Office reports that a body found by the USCG offshore of Key Largo Mon. afternoon (03-25) is 49-y/o Mark Polaschek. The medical examiner's office used dental records to confirm his identity Wed. morning (03-27). Polaschek, of Davenport, Iowa, was first reported missing Fri. (03-22), after he didn't return from a sailboat trip. His wife told officials he wasn't an experienced boater, but insisted on going out on their sailboat. The boat was found the next morning. Authorities said there were no obvious signs of foul play onboard. The couple and their 6-y/o son were vacationing in Key Largo.Read full story here.

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