05-25-13 LEXINGTON, NC TRAGEDY: PREGNANT MOTHER, TODDLER SON KILLED IN BOAT COLLISION A pregnant mother and her toddler son were killed Sat. (05-25) after a speed boat collided with a pontoon boat on a lake SW of Greensboro, N.C. Melissa Britt was ejected into High Rock Lake. Her body was found later in the afternoon after a recovery effort. Britt’s child, William Britt, reportedly between 2 and 4 yrs. old, died at a hosp. The victims were all family members and were riding on the pontoon boat. The driver, the father, was not injured. The family dog, also on the boat, is missing. No one on the pontoon boat was wearing a lifejacket. They said the speed boat was driving well over 25 mph in a shallow part of the lake. No one on the speed boat was injured.
Rescue crews and about 50 volunteers were on the scene. Authorities said there is no indication of alcohol being a factor, but speed may have played a role in the accident.Read full story here.
05-25-13 SUISUN BAY, CA Suisun Bay: 3 saved after boat capsizes Three people were rescued from the chilly waters of Suisun Bay on Sat. night (05-25) after their small catamaran capsized, the California Highway Patrol said. The 3 people were reported in the water off Ryer Island about 6:45 p.m. A USCG rescue boat and a CHP helicopter searched the waters for about 30 min. before the helicopter crew spotted the boat, which by then had drifted 2 mi. N. of the originally reported location. The helicopter rescued one man who was standing atop the catamaran, while the CG boat rescued 2 other people wearing lifejackets who were clinging to each other in the water. All were taken to local hospitals for treatment of exposure to cold. Read full story here.
05-26-13 ST. AUGUSTINE, FL Boat hits dock Sunday night in St. Augustine; 2 killed, 1 injured Two people were killed and another person was seriously injured Sun. night (05-26) when a boat hit a dock in St. Augustine. St. Johns Co. Fire and Rescue spokesman Jeremy Robshaw said the accident happened about 10 p.m. All 3 people on the boat were ejected when it struck a dock at the property of a home in the Pelican Reef neighborhood, which is located S of the Bridge of Lions on the E. side of the Matanzas River. Warren Hall, 52, and Franklin Babb, 52, were killed. Both men lived in St. Augustine. Alicia Babb, 50, was rescued from the water by another boater. When rescue personnel arrived, the injured person was taken to a hosp. and another was found dead while the 3rd individual could not be located. After searching for about an hr., rescuers found that victim also deceased.
A 5-y/o Brevard Co. girl is doing fine Mon. morning (05-27) after her father saved her from underneath a capsized boat Sat. (05-25). The boat's owner said that when the engine failed, big waves filled the vessel with water and it flipped over. Everyone got out safely except Randall Mischka's daughter, who was trapped under the boat. Mischka was able to pull her to safety. "I had to go underneath the boat and drag her out with the lifejacket on. Mischka said the boat was destroyed.
05-25-13 LAKE LANIER, GA Teen admits involvement in Friday boat collision The Georgia DNR continues to investigate a Fri. night (05-24) boating accident on Lake Lanier that/t people injured and involved the surrender of an 18-year-old to authorities. “We’re still processing the suspect’s boat,” said Sgt. Mike Burgamy, DNR supervisor at the lake, on Sun. (05-26).
He wouldn’t release further details about the incident or its aftermath, including the suspect’s name or possible charges. Other details “are at a standstill until we gather evidence and get our case together,” Burgamy said. At some point, DNR officials may go to the Hall Co. Solicitor’s Office, which prosecutes misdemeanor charges, to “sit down with them (about the case) and proceed from there.” The 18-y/o, accompanied by his father, has issued a statement of involvement in the incident at the Hall Co. Detention Center. The boy’s father heard about the crash near Old Federal Park on the radio, noticed damage to his boat and confronted his son, who admitted to hitting something but said he did not see or hear anything.
The teen was injured with cuts to his arm in the crash. He said he was taking on water so he went to the boat ramp at Old Federal to take the boat out of the water. The 2 unidentified victims, a 23-y/o man and 20-y/o woman, were on a PWC and were struck around midnight. They were taken to Northeast Georgia Med. Center, where they were treated for numerous injuries that include facial fractures and injuries to the woman’s foot and hand. The Sea-Doo was reported to be running at low speeds with its lights on when the collision occurred. The crash occurred at the start of the Memorial Day holiday weekend and a summer season expected to be a busy one, with Lanier at full pool and warm, sunny weather forecast for the weekend. Yet DNR spokeswoman Melissa Cummings said this accident wouldn’t count toward holiday weekend accident totals for the lake, which includes Sat. (05-25) through Mon. (05-27). Read full story here.
05-25-13 CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION, MI Teen's body recovered from Michigan lake The body of a Lincoln Park, Mich., teen was found in Wolf Lake several hrs. after a rowboat capsized on Sun. (05-26), the Lenawee Co. Sheriff's Office said. The drowning victim was identified as Jeffrey Walkowski, 17. His companion in the boat, Steve Chapo, 18, of Flat Rock, Mich, was able to swim to shore. At 12:30 a.m. a law enforcement dispatcher received a call that someone was yelling for help from the Wolf Lake area. The Cambridge Township Police Department and Cambridge Totwnship Fire Department were dispatched to the area where it was determined that two young men were on the lake fishing in a row boat when it capsized. The Lenawee Co. Sheriff’s Dive Team responded to the scene, as well as a helicopter from the Monroe Co. Sheriff’s Office. The dive team used sonar and the helicopter used thermal imaging and a spotlight, but were unable to locate the subject. At 8:09 a.m. Mon. (05-26) divers went into the water to begin a grid search. At 8:18 a.m. the divers located the drowning victim in deep water, according to the sheriff's office. The incident is being investigated by the Cambridge Township police. Read full story here.
05-26-13 KELLEYS ISLAND, OH Good Samaritans Rescue 4 from Capsized Boat Good Samaritans helped 4 people to safety after their boat capsized S. of Kelleys Island Sun. (05-26). According to the USCG, they received a call at about 5:10 p.m. reporting that a 39-ft. high-performance vessel had capsized and that 4 people were in the water. When a rescue boat arrived, officials found that Good Samaritans had already pulled the four out of the water. Three of the 4 boaters were taken on the rescue boat back to land. The owner remained on scene with Ohio DNR to continue the investigation.
One of the boaters had neck injuries but refused treatment. No one else was injured. Officials said the vessel remained capsized as of 8:30 p.m. Sun. CG officials said none of the boaters were wearing life vests, and they are not aware of alcohol being involved in the incident. Read full story here.
05-25-13 MOHAVE COUNTY, AZ Man suffers eye socket injury in boat incident Mohave Co. Sheriff’s Office waterway deputies investigated a boating incident that occurred about 4:25 p.m. Sat. (05-25) near Lake Havasu State Park. Jody Schanaman, interim spokeswoman for MCSO, said 2 boats narrowly missed colliding, resulting in each boat’s passengers being tossed around. Schanaman didn’t know where the boaters were from or the make and models of the boats. An injured male was transported by Lake Havasu City FD to Havasu Regional Med. Center after suffering an injury to his eye socket. The injury was non-life threatening. The unspecified number of other passengers suffered some minor abrasions but refused treatment. Investigations continue. Read full story here.
05-25-13 BERKELEY COUNTY, SC Rescue crews suspend search after boat accidents in Berkeley Co. Rescue efforts have been suspended Sun. night (05-26) in the search for 2 missing boaters in Moncks Corner. According to the Berkeley Co. Coroner, the search will resume Mon. morning (05-27), but with fewer crew members assisting. Coroner Bill Salisbury said that 2 separate accidents occurred late Sat. afternoon (05-25) on the Cooper River near Pimlico Boat Landing, leaving 2 men missing. Salisbury says the first call came in around 5:38 p.m. concerning 4 people in a boat traveling at a high rate of speed. Authorities say 57-y/o Robert Andrews of Goose Creek jumped into the water and did not surface.
According to S.C. DNR , while they were investigating the 1st boat accident, 2 other boats collided about a mi. away, one carrying 5 passengers, and the other with 6 people onboard. Salisbury says 27-y/o Robbie Mullinax of Moncks Corner is still missing from the 2nd boat accident. DNR investigators say 5 people were injured and were taken to area hospitals, but one person had to be flown out to the Medical Univ. of South Carolina. Multiple agencies are assisting in the recovery effort, including DNR field officers and dive team, Berkeley Co. Rescue Squad, as well as Charleston and Berkeley Co. Sheriff's Offices. The causes of the accidents are still under investigation.Read full story here.
05-26-13 SEBASTIAN INLET, FL Coast Guard rescues two men from disabled boat off Sebastian Inlet The USCG Sun. (05-26) rescued 2 men from the Bahamas who were found stranded on their disabled boat E. of the Sebastian Inlet. The men, Deon Lathen and Ted Lainge, were taken to Fort Pierce by the CG Cutter Cormorant, an 87-ft. patrol boat whose home port is Fort Pierce. The CG Sector Miami command center received a report from the owner of the overdue vessel, named Tera Bite, after it did not arrive as scheduled at West End, Bahamas, early Sat. (05-25). A CG Ocean Sentry plane soon located the disabled vessel 28 mi. E. of Sebastian Inlet but could not make radio contact with anyone aboard it. The men were soon picked up by the Carnival cruise ship Dream. The CG then brought them to Fort Pierce.Read full story here.
The boats, which were traveling near Buffington Island in Jackson Co., hit head-on at about 3 p.m., according to an officer with the Ravenswood PD. One passenger was seriously injured and transported to a nearby hosp. The West Virginia DNR is investigating. Read full story here.
05-24-13 DELAWARE CITY, DE 2 Pa. Men Rescued After Boat Runs Aground In Delaware Two Pennsylvania men are fine after being rescued by firefighters after their 25-ft. recreation boat ran aground on the Delaware River. Officials say the men from Exton, Pa., called for help Fri. night (05-24) after the boat ran aground at the entrance to the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. High winds and pounding waves complicated the rescue efforts. Though strong waves kept slamming the boat against the rocks, the men ultimately made it onto a rescue boat. The men were evaluated for minor injuries but did not want to go to a hosp. State officials are investigating. Read full story here.
05-26-13 PORT ORCHARD, WA Man spends cold night on small boat A 60-y/o man was rescued early Mon. morning (05-27) after spending the night adrift in a small boat on Puget Sound. The USCG received a report from Blake Island State Park Rangers at 1:04 a.m. that a man and his 8-ft. boat did not check in as scheduled at Blake Island State Park. The CG launched a helicopter and rescue boat from Port Angeles, Wash. and located the man adrift near the SE point of Bainbridge Island at around 5:50 a.m. The man was rescued by a boat crew from a CG station in Seattle. He was transported to Manchester Pier near Port Orchard, Wash., and received med. attention for non-life-threatening injuries. Read full story here.
05-25-13 LAKE WORTH, FL Coast Guard rescues Michael Forbes from water A man was rescued by a USCG helicopter crew after his vessel sank SE of Lake Worth on Sat. (05-25). Michael Forbes, 41, was on board the boat when it started sinking. A Good Samaritan contacted the CG to report the 17-ft. vessel taking on water approximately 39 mi. SE of Lake Worth. Once the helicopter crew arrived on scene, a CG rescue swimmer was deployed and pulled Forbes from the water to safety. A Royal Navy pilot stationed at Air Station Miami said Forbes was extremely fortunate to survive: He was not carrying a hand held radio when the boat went down. Forbes was later taken to Freeport, Bahamas, with no reported injuries. Read full story here.
05-25-13 NORTHEAST RIVER, MD Two people rescued from burning boat in Northeast River Emergency workers rescued 2 people from a burning boat in the Northeast River, off the NorthBay Adventure Camp shore, S. of North East, over the weekend, according to fire officials. No one was injured during the incident, reported Howard Ewing, a spokesman for the North East Vol. Fire Co., one of several agencies that handled the call at about 9:30 a.m. on Sat. (05-25). The recreational motorboat was in operation, moving through the water, when the fire broke out, Ewing said, adding that someone called 911. Emergency workers in a Charlestown Vol. Fire Co. rescue boat reached the burning boat and helped the 2 stranded people onto their vessel, which then carried them to land. Rescue boat teams with vol. fire companies from North East, Port Deposit and Perry Point also responded to the emergency call. A boat pulled the burning watercraft to shore, where vol. firefighters extinguished the blaze. Burning boats typically are pulled to shore before firefighters battle a blaze, to prevent the vessel from sinking. The names of the 2 people rescued from the burning boat were unavailable, as of Sun. afternoon (05-26-13). Maryland Natural Resources Police officers are handling the investigation, which will include determining the cause of the boat fire. Read full story here.
05-27-13 ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MD Six children injured in Maryland boat explosion Six people were hospitalized after a boat exploded at a Maryland marina, an official with the Anne Arundel Co. FD said Mon. (05-27). Six children, all of whom are 13 or younger, were injured, Lt. Jack Baell said. Sgt. Brian Albert of the Maryland Natural Resources Police, which is leading the accident investigation, said 2 of the children were transported to the Johns Hopkins burn center. No one on the boat suffered life-threatening injuries. Baell said the boat got gas at the marina, and the 32-ft. vessel, with 9 people aboard, stalled when it left the dock just after noon. The blast happened when the captain tried to refire the engines. The cause of the explosion at the Oak Grove Marina near Edgewater, Maryland, is unknown. The marina is about 30 min. E. of Washington on the South River. Read full story here.
05-24-13 BENTON COUNTY, AR Boat explosion on Beaver Lake kills one A woman was killed in an explosion on a boat Fri. afternoon (05-24) on Beaver Lake. The Benton Co. Sheriff's Office said Kayla Woolsey, 23, of Missouri, was boating with her stepfather, Alan Bland, on Beaver lake. Bland docked the boat and was trying to do some welding repair work when the explosion happened. Woolsey was thrown from the boat. Deputies said there were oxygen tanks on board but are not sure if they contributed to the explosion. Read full story here.
05-20-13 OFF BEAUFORT, NC Man Stranded at Sea After Lightning Struck Boat Rescuers said a boater was stranded for days at sea alone with little rations before being picked up on Mon. night (05-20) by both the USCG and a Pedro Rescue helicopter crew. The CG said that Logan Guinn was sailing from South Carolina up to New Bern after dropping off a passenger at Wrightsville Beach. Crews said the man's boat was struck by lightening sometime during the Sat. (05-18) storms, knocking out all of his electronic navigational tools. Crews said the sailor was left in an unfamiliar area with no way to determine where he was. By Mon. night, rescuers said Guinn sent up flares near Salter Path where someone spotted the visual call for help and called 911. The CG said it had teams running training drills in the area and arrived around the same time a Pedro crew did. A diver was let down toward the boat, and crews said Guinn was hoisted up to the helicopter and taken to Carteret Gen. Hosp. The man is expected to recover, though hosp. staff want to be sure he is properly treated for dehydration and severe sun burn. While Guinn continues his recovery, his boat is at the Portside Marina in Morehead City. Read full story here.
05-24-13 HIGH ROCK LAKE, NC Men OK after boat takes on water Two men escaped injury Fri. afternoon (05-24) after their boat began to take on water on High Rock Lake. Tyler Nance, 21, and Nick Brisson, 21, both of Thomasville, were fishing between the Wildlife Access area and the High Rock dam when their boat began to fill with water. Nance alerted his mother, Nancy, by phone that his boat was beginning to turn over. The mother immediately called 911. First responders were dispatched at about 4 p.m. to a call that a small Jon boat had capsized. Davidson Co. Rescue Squad Chief Reggie Lookabill said the Southmont VFD, the rescue squad, sheriff's deputies and Davidson County EMS searched for about 40 min. until the men were found. A firefighter located the men, who were uninjured, and their boat, which had been tied up to land. The boat, according to the SVFD, did not fully capsize. A SVFD firefighter also reported the wind caused the incident to happen as the waters were up. Lookabill said the waves were rough and pushed the boat to the bank where the boat began to fill with water. He said the men abandoned the boat and swam to shore. "The water was really rough and the wind was blowing," the chief said. "I think they were overwhelmed by the waves and the rough water." Lookabill said Wanda Nance made the initial call. Once she heard the boat was sinking, she told her son and his friend to swim. The son had just got the boat about a month ago. It was the first time he had taken the boat out and it was equipped with lifejackets. Read full story here.
05-26-13 BAXTER, MN Child rescued, Brainerd man dies after canoe capsizes on Gull River A cry for help was heard by residents along the Gull River Sun. afternoon (05-26) after a canoe capsized sending a man and child into the water. Residents along Barbeau Road N. of Baxter responded and were able to pull the 4-y/o boy from the river. The man, a 64-y/o Brainerd resident, was swept farther downstream where he was pulled unresponsive from the water by paramedics and law enforcement officers. Attempts to resuscitate the man were unsuccessful, the Crow Wing Co. Sheriff’s office reported Sun. afternoon. The boy, from Gilbert, Ariz., was treated at the scene and transported by ambulance to Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Med. Center in Brainerd. The names of the victims were withheld pending family notification. Both victims were wearing lifejackets at the time of the incident. The sheriff’s office stated the cause of the canoe’s capsizing remains under investigation. The Brainerd FD was called at 2:33 p.m. Sun. to rescue a man in the wooded area near Barbeau Road. Firefighters used their Mule vehicle to reach the wooded shore about a quarter mile into the woods gull-riverff Sandbar Trail and transported the man’s body to a waiting ambulance, in which hewas transported to the Ramsey Co. medical examiner to determine the exact cause of death. Also assisting the Crow Wing Co. Sheriff’s office at the scene was the Nisswa PD., North Memorial Ambulance and North Memorial Air Care.Read full story here.
05-25-13 RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER, VA Two rescued from Rappahannock River after canoe overturns Two people were rescued after their canoe overturned and lodged against a rock in the Rappahannock River Sat. afternoon (05-25). When Fredericksburg Fire and Stafford Co.Fire and Rescue Units arrived the man and young woman signaled that they were not injured but needed assistance. Rescue swimmers from Falmouth reached the overturned canoe, determined that both of the victims were okay, and they brought them back to safety. The canoe was also recovered. On shore, EMS personnel examined them more completely and confirmed they were in good condition. The 2 who were rescued turned down the opportunity to be taken for treatment. Read full story here.
05-26-13 SHELBYVILLE, TN Couple safe after canoe overturns A Coffee Co. couple was found safe Sun. morning (05-26) after spending the night on the banks of Duck River near Normandy when their canoe overturned. Jasen and Jackie Botts of Manchester walked out of a wooded area about 9 a.m.. They were reported missing shortly before midnight Sat. (05-25) when 2 kayakers who they had been with arrived at Normandy Dam and notified the Bedford Co. Sheriff's Dept. The Botts had been in their own canoe on the river with 2people who had rented kayaks from a Normandy rental service, the BCSD said. The canoe turned over just above Three Forks Bridge, according to a Facebook post by the rental service. Authorities found the canoe 300 yds. above the bridge. Areas near bridges along the river were checked by rescue personnel after midnight. Attempts were made to ping Jasen Botts' cell phone, but their service provider reported it had been turned off.
05-26-13 LAKE ALLTAOONA, GA Boat Capsizes on Lake Allatoona Two people were hurt in the only Memorial Day boating incident on Lake Allatoona thus far, GA Dept. of Resources Conservation officials said late Sun. (05-26). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rangers spotted 2 jet skis jumping the wake of a boat and attempted to stop the activity about 1 p.m. at Bartow Co. Highway 41 Day Use Area in Acworth, spokesman Melissa Cummings said. "While doing so, one jet ski stopped and the other was not paying attention and ran into the first one," she said. A 60-y/o man was cited for violating the 100 ft. law. A passenger on the other jet ski, a 19-y/o man, was injured in the left arm. His family drove him to the hosp. for treatment.
Authorities have charged 5 people with BUI on Lake Allatoona and, across the state, a total of 24. In GA, 3 boating incidents have led to a total of 4 injuries and one person has drowned this holiday weekend. No one went under when a boat capsized Sun. (05-26) on Lake Allatoona, and DNR authorities say the incident highlights the importance of wearing a lifejacket while boating. The boat had steering linkage problems when, shortly after 5 p.m., another vessel created a large wake, which swamped the smaller boat, filling the back of it with water. It capsized in Bartow Co. near Cartersville's Red Top Mountain State Park, but both occupants were wearing lifejackets and swam safely to shore. The boat will be recovered by a local boat recovery operation. Read full story here.
05-26-13 ALAMEDA, CA Sailboat Capsizes Near Ballena Isle Marina A sailboat capsized near Ballena Isle Marina Sun. afternoon (05-26), according to an Alameda fire official. The FD received a call for help shortly before 4 p.m. Sun. regarding a Laser sailboat that had capsized, according to Alameda Fire Capt. James Colburn. The boaters were able to right the boat themselves, and then capsized again. However, they received assistance from other boaters and were able to get themselves back to Ballena Isle Marina before officials arrived. No injuries were reported. Conditions were windy Sunday afternoon.Read full story here.
05-24-13 OCRACOKE, NC 2 rescued after sailboat runs aground near Ocracoke Two people were rescued from their grounded sailboat about 6 mi. N. of the Ocracoke Inlet. The 2 contacted the USCG about 5 p.m. Fri. (05-24) and reported that their sailboat, the Autumn Swell, had run aground. Radio contact was lost during the communication, however, and the crew had to broadcast a mayday signal. A 47-ft. motorized lifeboat from Ocracoke CG Station and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Elizabeth City Air Station were sent to the scene. The 2 boaters were able to swim to the CG boat and were taken to the Ocracoke station.Read full story here.
05-27-13 DRESSBACH, MN 11 rescued when house boat tips on Mississippi River Eleven people were thrown into the Mississippi River on Mon. evening (05-27) when their houseboat lost power and was flung over the roller gates at Lock and Dam No. 7. Six people were taken to Gundersen Lutheran Med. Center in La Crosse, but all are expected to live, authorities said at the scene near Dresbach, Minn. The other 5 did not need treatment. Everyone on the boat was accounted for. All 11 were out of the water when emergency personnel arrived at 5:30 p.m. to find the boat already halfway under water. La Crescent Fire Chief John Meyer said the boat was sent over the dam when it lost power. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the party tried to drop anchor. All 11 passengers ended up in the water. Authorities at the scene declined to identify them. John Rieple, captain of the Best Dam Fishing Float, was shuttling some customers back from his fishing boat when he noticed debris coming from the dam. He rescued 5 of the victims when he found them clinging to a lifeboat nearby. Read full story here.
05-25-13 LAKE HAVASU, AZ Man arrested for houseboat fiasco Lake Havasu City police arrested a California man allegedly responsible for a houseboat fiasco that occurred late Sat. afternoon (05-25) in Bridgewater Channel. Lake Havasu City PD spokesman Sgt. Troy Stirling said the incident was reported at 3:43 p.m. Sat. after a boat operator reportedly entered the S. end of Bridgewater Channel with a rented 65-ft. houseboat and lost control of the vessel. “The guy started coming into the S. end of the Channel when there were some big gusts of wind,” Stirling said. “It was too late. He didn’t have a chance to turn around because there were so many boats, it was really congested.” The houseboat ended up sideways across the waterway’s travel lanes and clipped several boats on both the E. and W. banks. In all, about 5 boats suffered minor gel coat-type damage. “That boat was so long, once it was turned around police were there getting him out of the Channel,” Stirling said. “They were trying to stop him but the guy wasn’t stopping.” Travelling at a slow pace, the boat operator continued until police boarded the vessel and shut it down. The boat operator, 36-y/o Donald Jackson, of Whittier, Calif., reportedly told police he didn’t stop because he thought police were escorting him and the houseboat from the Channel. In the end, Jackson was arrested for alleged reckless operation of a watercraft. Investigations determined alcohol wasn’t a contributing factor. No injuries were reported in association to the call. “I’m very happy to say it didn’t turn out worse than it did,” Stirling said. “We had people beginning to try to stop it by pushing it, but you can’t stop a houseboat.” In the end, the houseboat was towed back to Nautical Beachfront Resort with reports of a compromised hydraulic steering system, as a result of the incident, and is now unable to make right turns. Jackson has multiple years of boating experience but just not on a large boat such as the houseboat. “He did a pretty darn good job controlling it, but unfortunately he just shouldn’t have been there,” he said. It is unlawful to operate a houseboat of that size in the Channel, and beneath London Bridge, without a captain’s license. Jackson isn’t a licensed captain. Waterway authorities of Lake Havasu City PD, San Bernardino Co. Sheriff’s Dept. and Mohave Co. Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident. Read full story here.