Boating Accident News 6/7/2013

By Kristy Moore posted 06-07-2013 01:08 PM


06-06-13 TRINITY BAY, TX 2 rescued after boat capsizes during storms The USCG credits technology for the rescue of 2 men whose boat capsized in the NW portion of Trinity Bay during severe weather on Thu. night (06-06). A relative received a brief cell phone call from one of the men, who said their boat was taking on water. The relative then called for help. An aircrew found the men atop their overturned boat at 8:10 p.m., the CG says. They were then taken to Chambers Co. for medical care. "This story had a happy ending, primarily due to technology," Lt. Spencer Roach, a command duty officer at Sector Houston-Galveston, says in the CG statement.  "A severe storm came through during this case, and the original position we received for the boaters was incorrect. Fortunately, their cell phone provider was able to provide a latitude and longitude from the last call, and that's exactly where they were." At this time, there are no details on the men's identities or their conditions. Read full story here.  

06-05-13 WAMPLERS LAKE, MI Four people injured in two-boat crash on Wamplers Lake on Wednesday night Four people were injured in a 2-boat crash late Wed. (06-05) on Wamplers Lake in Lenawee Co. About 9 p.m. Wed., 2 bass boats were traveling at high speeds heading toward W.J. Hayes State Park when they collided, Cambridge Township Police Chief Larry Wibbeler said. Three of the people injured were taken to Allegiance Health via ambulance, and 1person was airlifted to St. Joesph's Mercy Hosp. in Ypsilanti with life-threatening injuries. The 3 people taken to Allegiance have been treated and released, while the other person remains in critical condition. The 2 boats were heading in toward the state park for weigh-in as a part of a local fishing tournament Wed. night. Drivers of the boats didn't see each other and the faster of the 2 boats drove over the other boat. The chief said there was no indication alcohol was a factor, and that the speed of the boats and the visibility caused the crash. Wibbeler said the crash is still under investigation. Read full story here.

06-05-13 ST. CROIX RIVER, WI St. Croix River: 1 killed, 2 injured in late-night boating accident A New Richmond, Wis., man was killed and 2 others were injured late Wed. night (06-05) when the boat they were in struck a rock face along the St. Croix River. David J. Riley, 40, was a passenger in the 40-ft. Formula 400 Super Sport boat when it hit a sheer rock face north of the Kinnickinnic State Park beach on the Wisconsin side of the river, according to the Pierce Co. sheriff's office, which responded to the crash about 11:45 p.m. Riley was pronounced dead at the scene. The boat's owner, Patrick A. Puhalla, 46, of Bayport, and passenger Daniel M. Schultz, 55, of Hudson, Wis., were taken to Regions Hosp. in St. Paul with injuries. Puhalla, who was believed to be operating the boat, was in good condition about 1 p.m. Thu. a hospital spokeswoman said, and Schultz had been treated and released. The men's injuries occurred inside the boat; none of the 3 was ejected during the crash, said Tom Gunderson, an investigator with the sheriff's office. Gunderson said the boaters were going for a pleasure ride from Prescott, Wis., to Afton when the crash occurred. Riley was the harbormaster at Windmill Marina in Afton. His uncle, Joe Riley, is the marina's vice president and general manager. Investigators are working to determine how fast the boat was going and whether speed was a factor in the crash, Gunderson said, adding the boat must have been traveling at "a pretty good clip" for it to be damaged as extensively as it was. The boat took on water following the impact, leaving it partially submerged. Efforts to remove it from the river continued into Thu. afternoon. Alcohol was found on the boat, but it has not been determined if it was a factor in the crash. One possible factor was nighttime visibility along the St. Croix. Read full story here

06-05-13 BLOOMINGTON, IN Man's legs seriously injured by propeller after falling out of boat on Lake Monroe Police say a man suffered serious injuries to both legs when he was run over by a boat on southern Indiana's Lake Monroe. State conservation officer Angela Goldman says the 68-y/oBedford man was in the boat with his adult son Wed. evening (06-05) when the boat took a sharp turn and he fell out. Goldman said that the boat's propeller hit the man's legs, causing extreme injuries. The man was first taken to a hosp. in nearby Bloomington and then flown by helicopter to an Indianapolis hosp. The injured man's name wasn't immediately released.  Read full story here. 

06-06-13 NORTH FORT MYERS, FL Boat flipped over by TS Andrea winds High winds from Tropical Storm Andrea rocked a number of boats in FL.  The weather kicked up rough waters making it tough for some mariners to stay afloat.  "My girlfriend said, ‘there's a tornado warning, you shouldn't go,' but I was already on my way," said boater Bob Butterfield. "Oh, well."  Butterfield was flipped out of his boat in the choppy waters that he says pushed it over. He said it took him 40 min. to swim to safety.  Others in sailboats were also subjected to the rocky waves produced by Tropical Storm Andrea as it made landfall Thu. (06-06). Read full story here.

06-05-13 CASCADE, ID Kayaker drowns in North Fork of Payette after flipping boat A 22-y/o NC man died in a kayaking accident on the Payette River in Boise Co., sheriff's officials say. Boise Co. says 22-y/o Eric Weigel of Asheville, N.C., was kayaking the North Fork of the Payette early Wed. evening (06-05) with 2 friends when he apparently flipped over and hit his head -- causing him to become unconscious. He was upside down in his kayak for several minutes before friends could take him to the shore. CPR was performed, however, he was pronounced dead at the scene when emergency responders arrived. Weigel had been traveling with his friends on a 21-day whitewater rafting trip and this was their last day of rafting before heading home to NC. The North Fork of the Payette is often considered one of the most challenging Class 5 rapids in North America. Read full story.

06-04-13 VENICE, FL Man injured after boat catches fire off Venice jetty A 15- to 20-ft. boat caught fire about 300 yds. offshore from the South Venice jetty Tue. (06-04), according to the Nokomis Fire Dept. The boat caught fire shortly before 2 p.m. as it was moving north through the inlet near Casey Key Road. The boater, who has not been identified, jumped from the flaming boat into the water. Lifeguards and other boaters quickly moved to assist and the man was pulled from the water. He reportedly suffered minor smoke inhalation. The boater told emergency responders the fire was the result of a motor malfunction onboard. The boat was destroyed by the fire and the charred wreckage towed to the South Jetty Fish Camp for disposal. Read full story here.

06-05-13 HOLLAND, MI Test run for boat turns into rescue on Lake Macatawa The man on the dock was more embarrassed than scared as he explained how his boat capsized Wed. afternoon (06-05)  in Lake Macatawa off the Heinz plant, 431 W. 16th St. “This never happened before,” he told officers from the Holland Dept. of Public Safety. The man was testing an 11- to 13-ft. boat for a local marina when it capsized about 1:47 p.m. He climbed atop the boat, according to scanner reports, and then phoned back to his employer who came out in another vessel to pick him up. He came ashore at the boat launch at Kollen Park as the Holland Fire Dept. launched its boat to check out the capsized craft. No one was injured. As the overturned boat was being towed to the dock with a USCG escort, a CG helicopter appeared over the lake and hovered off Kollen Park. The helicopter was in the area on a training exercise, not because of the boat accident, according to Holland CG officials. Read full story here. 

06-02-13 SCITUATE, MA Kayakers rescued from rough seas off Scituate Two kayakers are lucky to be alive, after rough seas tipped their kayak over and strong winds pushed them out to sea Sun. afternoon (06-02). According to Scituate Harbormaster Mark Patterson, the winds were blowing 30-40 MPH and the tide was 3 to 5 ft. above normal when his office received a call from Scituate Fire Dept. at about 3 p.m., saying two kayakers were in the water. “The report to us was one had flipped over and the other was trying to help him. I’m assuming in the process that person ended up out of the kayak,” Patterson said. Assistant Harbormaster Michael Bearce and Joe McDonough quickly went out to respond to the scene, yet it took 25 min. for the harbormaster boat to get there.  By that time, both the man and woman kayaker had managed to climb to a rock half a mile off the shore and were clinging to it. “Bearce was able to maneuver the boat close to the rock and with some difficulty got them to shore and to the Fire Dept., who transported them,” Patterson said.  Both kayakers were cut up from the rocks and coral covering the stones, and were cold and scared from being in the water half an hour. But because they were wearing life jackets, they avoided more serious injuries. That may be what made the difference. Read full story here.

06-04-13 YAKIMA RIVER, WA Yakima fire rescue crew responds to aid jet ski rider A Yakima Fire Dept. rescue crew was called out Tue. evening (06-04) after receiving a report that a jet ski rider was in trouble on the Yakima River.  Shortly before 8 p.m., a person was reported to have lost control of a jet ski due to mechanical problems in the river’s fast-moving current. Fire crews arrived to find that police and others had found the Jet Ski and secured it on a river bank. Witnesses reported the rider had climbed out of the river, waved to them and then left the area. No other people were reported in the river. Crews used a rescue boat to tow the Jet Ski to an area where it could be picked up by a tow truck. Read full story here.

06-02-13 CLAYTON, NY Syracuse-area boater pulled out of St. Lawrence River Sarah E. Gillette was talking on the phone shortly before 5 p.m. Sun. (06-02) when she heard a man yelling for help somewhere on the St. Lawrence River. While her husband, Paul F., and a neighbor headed out in one boat, Mrs. Gillette jumped into a smaller vessel to look for the person in trouble. She found Terence J. Brennan, 53, Camillus, bobbing up and down not far from shore. Before she reached him, Mrs. Gillette worried she was too late — he looked like he was not going to be able to keep his head above water any longer. “He didn’t look good,” she said of the moment she reached Mr. Brennan and helped him into the boat. “He was moaning and groaning, and I didn’t know what was going to happen.” Mr. Brennan, who was not wearing a life jacket, later was charged with boating while intoxicated. NY State Park Police and fire officials are crediting Mrs. Gillette, 65, with saving Mr. Brennan’s life. Apparently, Mr. Brennan either swam a good 1,000 ft. from where he fell off his 17-ft. Evinrude Triumph or the waves carried him to the channel side of Round Island, where Mrs. Gillette and neighbors could hear him screaming for help. Mr. Brennan was in the water for at least 30 min. and maybe as long as 45 min., said William E. Gould, commander of the Jefferson Co. Special Tactics and Rescue team. Mr. Brennan told rescuers that he was ejected from his boat when a wave hit the small craft. Clayton Fire Chief Dale C. Harvey said the day easily could have ended in tragedy. “He’s very lucky,” Mr. Harvey said. Mr. Brennan was on the Clayton side of the island when he was thrown into the cold water and left to drift. The Jefferson Co. 911 dispatch center received a call about a boat circling in the water and possibly 2 people in the water, but only Mr. Brennan was on board. He had enough strength to get partially up the ladder of Mrs. Gillette’s boat and hold on until she managed to get him aboard. Once she got Mr. Brennan back to shore, neighbors wrapped him in blankets and hugged him until he got warm. The Clayton fireboat picked up Mr. Brennan on the island, and the crew administered quick medical treatment before getting him to a waiting ambulance at the public docks at Frink Park in the village. He refused further medical treatment. Mr. Brennan registered a blood alcohol content of 0.16 percent. He was given an appearance ticket for June 25 in Clayton Town Court. Mr. Brennan began his voyage from Pier 65 in Clayton and was just out cruising around for the day. A salvage company got Mr. Brennan’s boat to stop circling, retrieved it and towed it back to shore. About 25 people from several police, rescue and fire agencies took part in the rescue operation, including state park police, the Clayton Fire Dept., state police, the county STAR team, the USCG, the Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue Service and the Jefferson Co. Office of Fire and Emergency Mgmt. Read full story here.

06-05-13 NIAGRA COUNTY, NY Dead woman found aboard damaged boat in Olcott Niagara Co. Sheriff's officials are investigating the circumstances surrounding a dead woman found in a heavily damaged boat on the shores of Lake Ontario in Olcott Wed. night (06-05). The Niagara Co.Sheriff's Office says the boat had heavy damage to the front bow and washed up against a boat dock about 7 p.m. behind a home on Lake Road in the Town of Newfane. The female operator was found dead on board. Authorities are still investigating the accident. Crews searched the water for other victims, but authorities believe the woman was alone. Sheriff's officials said it is unknown what the boat struck to damage it. The victim's name was not released Wed. night, pending family notification. Read full story here.

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