Boating Accident News 5/17/2013

By Kristy Moore posted 05-17-2013 01:55 PM

05-15-13 GRAND LAKE STREAM, ME Wardens recover body of man involved in boat crash on West Grand Lake Personnel from the Maine Warden Service have recovered the body of a man who was ejected from his boat Wed. afternoon (05-15) when it collided with another boat on W.Grand Lake. Vincent Bartolomeo, 65, of Old Orchard Beach and Concord, Mass., was found in 28 ft. of water about noon Thur. (05-16) by warden service divers, Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service said. Bartolomeo was ejected and went below the surface of the water after the 2-boat crash, which occurred shortly before 5 p.m. Bartolomeo was not wearing a lifejacket. The operator of the other boat was Richard Albano, 74, of Bellerica, Mass. Albano’s brother Robert Albano of Medford, Mass., also was in the boat when the collision occurred. The brothers have a camp in Princeton, Maine.
At the time of the collision, Richard Albano was operating his 16-ft. Lund with a 40-horsepower Honda outboard. Bartolomeo was operating his 14-ft. Sea Nymph open boat with an 8-horsepower motor. The Albanos were not injured. Several game wardens, the Maine Warden Service dive team and a warden service aircraft were involved in search and recovery efforts. The crash remains under investigation by the Maine Warden Service, which reminds boaters to wear lifejackets on all Maine waterways. Read full story here.
05-15-13 HYANNIS, MA Three men rescued after boat sinks off Hyannis Three men thought sunny skies on Wed. (05-15) would make for a pleasant day of fishing, but their 21-ft. boat couldn't handle whipping winds and high seas, and they had to be rescued from their sinking vessel. The boat had engine trouble around 5:30 p.m. and began taking on water, Hyannis Fire Capt. William Rex said. The boat started to sink in the waters near Point Gammon when the crew aboard the 100-ft. charter fishing vessel Helen H spotted it, Rex said. The crew members threw the sinking boat a line to prevent it from completely sinking, but couldn't get closer because of the fishing vessel's large size. Multiple rescue vehicles — including 2 USCG boats, one out of Woods Hole and one from Chatham, and a CG helicopter — were deployed and by the time crews arrived, the 3 men were clinging to the bow while the stern was submerged. The men, who are from Sandwich and Plymouth, were wearing lifejackets. They were tossed life rings and eventually were towed to safety. Winds were blowing at about 30 kts. at the time of the rescue, seas swelled up to 8 ft. and there was rain and lightning. The boat had engine troubles, was taking on water, and the crew may have underestimated the conditions, Rex said as to why the boat sank. Beyond minor hypothermia, the men were uninjured and were treated at the scene and released. Read full story here.
05-15-13 CLINTON TOWNSHIP, NJ Missing boater sought by helicopter, foot and boat in Hunterdon County A canoeist who went missing Wed. afternoon (05-15) is being sought at a Hunterdon Co. reservoir this morning, New Jersey State Police said. Helicopters and troopers on foot are searching the wooded areas around Spruce Run Reservoir, said Sgt. Adam Grossman. Boats from the state police’s marine unit were en route. No further details about the search are available yet. Spruce Run State Park is about 2 mi. down I-78 from the Round Valley Reservoir, which has had a string of disappearances over the last few decades. Read full story here.
05-14-13 LITTLE STURGEON BAY, WI Coast Guard assists 3 after boat runs aground in southern Door The USCG Canal Station assisted 3 people early Wed. morning (05-15) who were aboard an 18-ft. pleasure craft that ran aground in Little Sturgeon Bay.
The names and hometowns of the rescued are not being released, but they were not local residents, said CG Petty Officer Thomas Johnson, who responded to the call for help. “They had been out fishing all day and were heading back to the launch at Wave Pointe,” Johnson said, when the stranded boaters called 911 for help about 10 p.m. Tue. (05-14). “Because they were not from the area, they were unfamiliar with how very shallow it can be. It was dark and difficult to navigate.” Their boat ran aground about 50 yds. offshore in Little Sturgeon Bay. The CG issued a marine assistance radio broadcast, soliciting help from nearby boaters, but none responded. A rescue crew piloted by Petty Officer 3rd class Ted Connelly took a 25-ft. response boat from the CG Station in Sturgeon Bay. The CG rescue crew freed the vessel and escorted the boat back to Wave Pointe Marina. The call was completed at 4 a.m. Wed. and the rescued boat sustained minimal damage. Read full story here.
05-14-13 GRAND LAKE, OK Two dead in boat crash on Grand An evening boat ride on Grand Lake took a deadly turn Tue. night (05-14). Two people were killed in a boating accident around 5:30 p.m in the Duck Creek arm of the lake. A 22-ft. ski boat, carrying 8 passengers all in their 20s, collided with an empty houseboat docked in the Arrowhead Marina. The 2 killed in the collision were said to be at the front of the boat. Reports say the victims were Rachel Swetman and William Varner III.  Grand River Dam Authority police, who are leading the investigation, have not made a statement. Two passengers refused medical treatment and the remaining 4 were transported to Craig Gen. Hosp. in Vinita. While the cause of the collision has yet to be released, officials say speed played a key role. GRDA Assistant General Manager Brian Edwards was reported as saying the boat was traveling at an extremely high speed that resulted in the “sudden and violent impact.” Photographs taken at the scene show the front end of the ski boat out of the water and on board the
houseboat. Crews worked overnight to pull the boats from the water to obtain further information about the crash. There has been no official statement made as to whether alcohol was involved in the incident.
Lake officials say speed and alcohol are the 2 leading causes of boating accidents on Grand Lake. For that reason, their official lake rules say that a boat of this size within 150 ft. of wharves, docks, shorelines or other boats must not travel faster than idle speed. Boats are required to have proper navigation lights, and operating any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited. The official investigation continues.Read full story here.
05-16-13 NEW YORK, NY Couple rescued after boat overturned in Central Park A Boathouse employee in Central Park had to rescue a couple whose boat overturned on Thur. (05-16). Police say a man and woman were reaching for an oar that fell in the water when they overturned. The boat flipped, dumping the couple into the lake. A boathouse employee rowed out to the couple with a police officer and brought them to shore. The couple was evaluated by paramedics in the park, but were not taken to the hospital. Read full story here.

Three firefighters on a training run in the dept's 34-ft. Metalcraft Marine 1 happened upon 2 people in the water around 2:30 p.m. Wed. (05-15), Chief William Kenyon said. The 2 men in their 30s had been taking a motorized canoe from Conimicut in Warwick to Bullocks Point in E. Providence. Waves swamped their canoe, leaving them in the water. The men were wearing wetsuits, Kenyon said, but no one saw their vessel go under or knew they were in trouble. Read full story here.
05-14-13 WACO, TX Man Drowns trying to unload boat at Lake Waco Police say a Central Texas man drowned while trying to unload his boat at Lake Waco. Waco police on Wed. (05-15) identified the victim as 65-y/o Clyde Ives of Gatesville. Police found no signs of foul play at the boat ramp where the accident happened Tue. (05-14). Authorities believe Ives was unloading his boat when it floated away. Ives wasn't wearing a lifejacket when he tried to swim to the boat. His body was recovered about 100 yds from the dock. The boat was about 50 yds away.Read full story here.
05-15-13 CAPTIVA ISLAND, FL Coast Guard rescues 4 in sinking boat A fishing trip gone wrong almost turned deadly. Wed. (05-15) 4 local fisherman set out on a deep sea fishing trip near Red Fish Pass when the boat broke down and they started taking on water. The nightmare began at 7 a.m., by 10 a.m. it took a turn for the worse. The 4 fishermen say they were fighting huge waves and the reality they might lose their lives. "We were 15 mi. offshore in 60 ft. of water, and didn’t know if anyone would run into us," said fisherman Derek Sullivan. A broken $5 fuel bulb is what stopped the motor on the 24-ft. fishing boat--putting 4 lives at risk. "Water was coming over the transom, we lost power with the motor, and we were taking water on with half the boat under water," Sullivan said. The 4 fought off 5-ft. swells for 40 min. When it became clear the motor would not start back up and the boat was about to sink, they sent out a mayday. The fisherman says the time almost came to jump ship. But shortly before it came to that, the USCG found them. The CG towed the boat to Punta Rassa docks. Read full story here.
05-04-13 SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, VA Wind capsizes sailboat, 2 adults, 4 kids rescued Quick response by emergency volunteers averted a potential disaster on Smith Mountain Lake earlier this month. George Tawes, a volunteer with Smith Mountain Lake Marine Fire & Rescue, said 4 children and 2 adults were rescued after the 24-ft. sailboat they were on capsized Sat. (05-04) on a cold, windy day. On arrival, responders found 6 persons stranded on Bird’s Island with the overturned sailboat drifting away in the wind.  He noted that the island is .7 of a mi. SE of Vista Pointe. “Several young persons in the group showed signs of impending hypothermia. All were provided blankets and warm clothing worn by the rescue crew and immediately transported to shore,” said Tawes.  None of the boat’s occupants required medical treatment.  The group was from the Lynchburg area. The sailboat was retrieved and towed to a boat ramp where a fireboat pumped out the flooded hull. Conservation officers Mathew Silicki and Edgar Huffman from the Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries responded to the call along with Fireboat 11-2 staffed by Andrew Kearns and John Honaker and Fireboat 11-5 with Dave Pearsall and Tawes with the marine dept., and RJ Thompson from  Scruggs FD. Read full story here.
05-14-13 MARINA DEL REY, CA 6 people rescued after canoe capsizes off Marina del Rey Six people were rescued off Marina del Rey Tue. evening (05-14) after their outrigger canoe capsized in rough seas. All were treated and later released after they were pulled from the water about 7:45 p.m. The vessel overturned just outside the Marina del Rey breakwater, where winds blowing from 15-20 kts. had created unsafe conditions, the Los Angeles Co. Sheriff's Dept. said. "The seas were confused, hazardous," Deputy Bryan White of the Marina del Rey station said. Deputies from the station launched a 34-ft. catamaran-style diesel rescue vessel. A Los Angeles Co. FD boat and USCG helicopter were also scrambled. Some of the victims were suffering from hypothermia. All were treated at the Marina del Rey station and then released. Read full story here.

05-12-13 BOONE, IA Two kayakers rescued safely from Des Moines River Two kayakers were rescued safely from the Des Moines River Sun. afternoon (05-12) after a strong current lodged their boats against a log pile underneath the Kate Shelley Bridge near Boone.  Boone Co. Search and Rescue and the Boone FD were sent to the bridge after receiving a call at 2:31 from a group of kayakers reporting that 2 of their party had separated from the group, said Deputy Brian Pontius. Moments later, another call came in that 2 kayakers, a husband and wife, were stuck against the pile about 30 ft. from the shore. The current first pulled the wife’s kayak into a bridge piling, spinning the boat around and lodging it in the log pile. The husband’s boat capsized and was sucked underneath the pile, but he pulled himself onto the logs. Rescuers were able to put a boat on the river and throw lines to pull in the stranded couple by 3:41 p.m. Law enforcement had to be careful not to let the current pull their boat into the same log jam. The couple had rented the kayaks for the day, and didn’t have much experience on the river. Though the current’s strong, the river’s not any more dangerous now than it is any other time of year, Pontius said. Neither victim went to the hosp. The man was treated for signs of hypothermia at the scene, but was warming up and chose not to be transported. Both the husband and wife were wearing lifejackets, which Pontius credits for saving the man’s life.Read full story here.
05-03-13 BONNEY LAKE, WA Two men seriously injured in Lake Tapps WaveRunner crash Two men were seriously injured Fri. evening (05-03) when they crashed their WaveRunner into a dock in Lake Tapps. The men, thought to be in their 20s, were riding a WaveRunner just after 5 p.m. when they rammed into a dock in Bonney Lake, according to officials from E. Pierce Fire & Rescue. Rescue workers said the watercraft hit so hard it destroyed part of the dock and threw the men roughly 30 f.t onto the shore. Both men were taken to local hospitals with life-threatening injuries. Investigators are now trying to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident. Read full story here.
05-14-13 MAUI, HI Two Men Adrift Rescued off McGregor Point Two men are safe after the inflatable boat they were in lost power and began drifting in waters off of McGregor Point on Tue. afternoon (05-14). The incident was reported at around 4:30 p.m. about one mi. S. of the scenic lookout. Rescue crews aboard the Maui FD’s Air One helicopter and jet ski located the 2 men in their 20s drifting S. towards Kahoʻolawe at around 5:15 p.m., said Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga. Fire officials say both men were in good condition and did not require any medical attention. According to Mainaga, the men aboard the 15-ft. inflatable rigid hull boat were towed back to Māʻalaea Harbor by the dept.’s rescue jet ski without incident. Also responding to the scene were crews from Engine-1 out of Wailuku, Rescue-10 out of Kahului, and Battalion Chief-2.Read full story here.
05-14-13 CORPUS CHRISTI, TX CG Pilot in Training has Dramatic First Rescue A USCG helicopter crew conducting a training flight was diverted to rescue a man clinging to a telephone pole in the water Tue. (05-14) in South Bay, Port Aransas, Texas. Maison Rickmon of Cuero, was riding his PWC earlier in the day when it became disabled and was capsized by waves in the bay, leaving him in the water without a lifejacket. He swam to the 100-ft. wooden telephone pole, where he grabbed a bolt that was sticking out, and he waited. At about 9:20 p.m., someone noticed the capsized watercraft and called the CG for help. The Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders diverted the aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from their training mission and deployed a response boat crew from Station Port Aransas to search for a possible missing person. The helicopter crew had launched that day to work on getting one of the pilots qualified for hoist operations, but there wasn't enough time or fuel to land and switch out the pilot. The reporting source flashed their headlights toward the capsized watercraft to vector the helicopter in. After a 10-min. search of the immediate area, the helicopter's flight mechanic spotted Rickmon partially out of the water, clinging to the bolt. The pilot in training, Lt. Eric Vryheid, was able to maneuver near power lines and a bridge to deliver the rescue swimmer and hoist them both, completing his first rescue. Read full story here.
05-11-13 BLYTHE, CA Woman on Personal Watercraft Lost & Stranded Overnight, Found On Sat. (05-11) at 9:36 p.m., Colorado River Station Sheriff’s units were dispatched to a missing persons call at McIntyre River Camp Park. The husband advised his wife had been missing since 6:00 p.m. The couple and a group of friends had been at a place known as Goose Flats about 7 mi. N. of McIntyre Park. The wife had left there at about 6:00 p.m. alone on a Yamaha wave-runner. The husband and the group of friends then left approximately 10 min. later, returning to McIntyre Park, where they believed the wife had gone. When the wife did not show up, they began a search of the river in water craft and vehicles along the river road. When they were unable to locate the wife they called and reported her missing. La Paz and Imperial Counties both had boats in the river and conducted a search N. and S. of the location of the missing person was last seen. La Paz Co. also had an air unit conduct a search. La Paz and Imperial Counties were unable to locate the missing person. Riverside Co.'s helicopter Star 94 responded and assisted in the search. In the early morning hrs. Sun. (05-12) at 1:09 a.m., Star 94 was able to locate the missing person and the PWC floating in the middle of the river approximately 20 mi. N. of where she was last seen. The reported missing person had run aground a sandbar and the PWC became inoperative; she was unable to dislodge the craft for about 6 hrs. Once she was able to break free of the sandbar, she began floating down river for approx. 5 min., when Star 94 located her. She was rescued by Riverside Co. Deputies and transported to the local hosp. via ambulance for treatment of hypothermia. Read full story here.

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