Boating Accident News 6/11/2013

By Kristy Moore posted 06-11-2013 11:02 AM

  
06-09-13 ELLIOT KEY, FL Charges Possible in Florida Boat Collision That Injured 9 People Investigators said Mon.(06-10) that charges could be forthcoming in the 2-boat collision in the Florida Keys that flung passengers into the water and sent 9 people to the hosp. The crash happened around 6:30 p.m. Sun. (06-09) near Sands Cut, a popular sandbar area near Elliott Key, Fla., said Officer Jorge Pino, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comm., which is spearheading the investigation. A 36-ft. Carrera carrying 16 passengers was struck by a 28-ft. vessel carrying 2 people, throwing at least 12 people into the water. The 28-ft. vessel capsized after the collision. Of the 9 people taken to the hosp., 1 person was hoisted from the water by a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue helicopter. The passenger was the most seriously injured of the group and appeared to have suffered a leg injury and a possible concussion. All the victims were believed to be adults. While the cause of the crash is under investigation authorities conducted a field sobriety test on both boat captains at the scene and said "nothing would indicate" that alcohol had been a factor in the crash. Because the extent of the injuries was "minor to moderate," including "lacerations and pulled muscles," Pino said a blood alcohol test was not warranted. But charges could be forthcoming if authorities determine that either captain violated boating rules on Florida's waterways. "Whenever there is an accident on Florida's waterways its incumbent upon both captains of the respective vessels to maintain a proper lookout," Pino said. While all the injured are expected to recover they were "very fortunate" the collision was not more serious. Read full story here. 

 

06-08-13 JOE POOL LAKE, TX Three-Boat Collision at Joe Pool Lake; Boy, 12, in Critical Condition A 12-y/o boy was critically injured in a collision involving 3 boats on Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie late Sat.  night (06-08). Thirteen other people suffered minor injuries. Police said the boy is in ICU at Children's Med. Cen. Dallas and faces more surgery and a long recovery.  They have not released his name. Grand Prairie police say at about 11:00 p.m. lake patrol officers were called to a boat collision about 200 yds. off the shore near Lynn Creek Park. Investigators said 2 boats were tied together when a 3rd boat hit the 2 boats sitting idle. A total of 13 people on the 3 boats involved in the accident suffered minor injuries and were treated and released at the scene, according to Grand Prairie police. The 2 boats that were sitting idle at the time of the collision returned to the marina under their own power. The 3rd boat that hit the other 2 boats was partially submerged. Lake officers recovered the boat about 10 ft. offshore. Grand Prairie police said alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the collision. Officers said all the boats had their navigation lights on and it appears no one did anything illegal, but the investigation continues. Johnny Hearn, who owns one of the boats that was struck, says the boat that hit his seemed to be going fast. "It happened so fast, I was bailing out and that's when I hit this into their boat and they were all ducking down.  It was like an explosion,” said Johnny Hearn.  “If you've ever been around a bomb or mortar or something just ‘boom’ and then I saw the boat just going through the air and landing off in the water." "The boat just kind road along the top edge and dove off and threw people out of that boat and screaming and all that and that's when we started trying to save people,” said Hearn.  "It was very hairy for a while." Read full story here. 

 

06-08-13 VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, MI Van Buren Township Man Drowns After Boat Capsizes A Van Buren Township resident is dead after his boat capsizes on Belleville Lake. According to the Van Buren Township Public Safety Dept., they received a call from a boater around 5:30 Sat. evening (06-08) who told them a boat occupied by 2 men had capsized. One of the men was able to make it to shore, but the 2nd boater couldn’t be found. Officers and Fire Dept. personnel with the Van Buren Township Police were dispatched to the scene, along with officers from the Marine Division, the Wayne Co. Sheriff’s Marine Division, the Van Buren Township Dive Team and Huron Valley Ambulance. Just after 8:00 Sat. night, the body of the 2nd man, identified as 40-y/o Demont Harris, was found in 19 ft. of water, approximately 100 ft. from shore. Read full story here.

 

06-08-13 LAC QUI PARLE LAKE, MN Woman, Girl Killed in Western Minn. Boat Accident ID'd Authorities have released the identities of 2 people who died after their boat overturned on Lac qui Parle Lake on Sat.  afternoon (06-08), according to authorities. Fernando Mendoza, 35, was in the boat along with 5-y/o Fernanda Mendoza and 34-y/o Claudia Ramirez. The group was from Montevideo, Minn. Fernando Mendoza was able to swim to shore and call police for help. He was the sole survivor. Authorities pulled the girl and the woman from the lake after their boat capsized near Boyd’s Landing around 3 p.m., according to the Lac qui Parle Co. Sheriff’s Office. The lake is west of Minneapolis near Montevideo. Preliminary investigation shows that high winds and rough water let to the boat filling with water and overturning, the sheriff's office reported. The girl and the woman were taken to the hosp. where they later died. Cold water temperatures, improper life jacket use and non-use of life jackets appear to have contributed to their deaths. This incident is under investigation. Read full story here.

 

06-08-13 AVON, NJ 4 rescued after boat gets stuck on jetty in Avon Four people were rescued after the boat they were in got stuck on the north end of a jetty at the Shark River inlet in Avon. No injuries were reported in the incident, which was reported around 10:45 p.m. Sat. (06-08). But authorities said Sun. (06-09) that it's still not clear how the boat got stuck near Avon. USCG officials initially were alerted about the situation, but local authorities soon reached the scene and were able to rescue the boat's occupants. Read full story here.

 

06-09-13 BARRINGTON, RI 3 rescued after boat towing kayak sinks in Narragansett Bay Three people were uninjured Sun. evening (06-09) when a kayak and a 21-ft. boat sank in Narragansett Bay off Rumstick Point, USCG and local fire officials said. The identities of the 3, who all declined medical treatment upon reaching shore, were not available Sun. evening. Barrington Fire Lt. Jason Fanion said the problem started sometime before 7:30 p.m. when the 2 people in the 21-ft. boat offered to tow a distressed kayaker from Warwick to shore. But during that tow, their boat began taking on water and became submerged, sending all 3 into the water. By the time rescue units arrived, the 3 boaters had already swum ashore near Rumstick Road. They were examined, particularly for hypothermia, he said, but declined any further attention. Read full story here.

 

06-08-13 CONOY TOWNSHIP, PA Boat capsizes in Susquehanna River; 2 men make it to shore Two men were rescued after their boat capsized in the Susquehanna River late Sat. (06-08) in Conoy Township. Fire units from Bainbridge and Maytown in Lancaster Co. were dispatched to the river at 11:45 p.m. By the time those crews arrived, the men already were out of the water and with Dauphin Co. fire crews on the York Co. shore, according to Bainbridge Fire Co. Boat Capt. Sean Laverty. He said it's believed one of the men stood up in the 12-ft. aluminum boat, causing the craft to overturn. The boaters fell into the water about ½ mi. S. of the York Haven hydroelectric plant, Laverty said. The men, one is from Lancaster Co. and the other from Harrisburg weren't in the water very long, they didn’t require medical treatment. Fire crews towed the boat to the Lancaster Co. side of the river. The boaters later retrieved it from a Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Comm. access on Collins Road in Conoy Township. Read full story here

 

06-08-13 BLAKE ISLAND, WA Fire damages 36-foot boat near Blake Island The Seattle Fire Dept. and the USCG responded to a boat fire near Blake Island on Sat. (06-08). SFD said the 36-ft. wooden vessel had 400 gallons of diesel fuel aboard. Three people and a dog that were on the boat were able to get off safely. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire. The owners of the boat were later allowed back on the boat and it was being towed to Shilshole in Seattle. Read full story here.

 

06-08-13 KAENA POINT, HI Five people rescued after boat capsizes off Kaena Point Around 6:45 Sat. morning (06-08), the USCG got a mayday call from a boat off Leeward Oahu. A 17-ft. pleasure craft with 3 men and 2 young boys onboard capsized about a mile and half from Kaena point. The boat was almost entirely submerged making it tough for the CG to find the boaters. “With their radio we could talk to them and with the helicopter we can use a direction finding basically using their radio transmissions to guide us into them,” CG aircraft commander, Lt. Matthew Matsuoka said. Lt. Matsuoka says the 2 boys, 7 and 11-y/o were wearing life jackets. With the boat capsized, all 5 people were sitting on top of the hull. The CG rescued the 2 young boys first and then 1 of the men. The 2 other men were in the water waiting when another boat arrived. “There was a good samaritan on scene also another boat and they had a good distance standoff distance from us they monitored everything they would be able to assist us with the two adults. Our rescue swimmer assisted with transferring the 2 adults that remained on the boat over to the vessel,” Lt. Matsuoka said. Read full story here.

 

06-09-13 FORT MYERS SHORES, FL Family safe after boat capsizes on Caloosahatchee A Fort Myers family was happy to be safe Sun. night (06-09)after their airboat capsized late in the afternoon on the Caloosahatchee River. Three people were on board when it flipped over. The passengers and the boat were brought to back safely to the Davis Boat Ramp in Fort Myers Shores. The Miners family breathed a sigh of relief after a day on the water turned into a USCG rescue. Clearly upset, the 3 family members on board gathered at the boat ramp happy to be OK after being safely rescued. A Good Samaritan spotted the family floating on top of their airboat after it flipped over in front of the power plant near the I-75 overpass. That Good Samaritan called the CG which was on scene within minutes.  The airboat was towed in and loaded onto a trailer. The 24-y/o driving the boat said he made a sharp left turn causing the boat to swamp and take on water.  He was clearly shaken, but his mother was just happy her family was safe.  "They're fine, everyone is fine. The boat is salvageable. I mean everything is going to be good," said Janice Miners, mom.  FWC assisted the CG with this rescue, and are now taking over the investigation. Read full story here.

 

06-08-13 HOPKINGTON, RI Man rescued after canoe capsizes in Hopkinton Emergency personnel rescued a man from the Pawcatuck River near its junction with the Wood River on Sat. night (06-08) after he had escaped a capsized canoe. The unidentified man was uninjured, said Patrick McMahon, Charlestown Ambulance-Rescue chief. He was given blankets after complaining of dampness and cold, but refused medical attention. Two other people in the canoe with him escaped safely. Police and rescue units from Hopkinton and Charlestown responded shortly before 9 p.m. to a report of a capsized canoe near the Burdickville Bridge. Emergency responders had difficulty putting boats in the river due to the rough terrain and strong current from Fri. heavy rain, but eventually located the victim north of the bridge. He got himself pinned in a tree. Charlestown Ambulance-Rescue was eventually able to put a boat in the water with its personnel and a diver from the Ashaway Fire District, who helped retrieve the victim. He was turned over to State DEM personnel, who had jurisdiction. It took about 10 or 15 min. for the boat to get to him because the current was so strong. Usually, it’s navigable by canoe, but the water level was high enough that we could get an inflatable boat with a small engine in there. The Hope Valley Fire District also put a boat in the water farther north, near Alton, but wasn’t able to get to the victim. Read full story here.

 

06-09-13 PITTSFIELD, MA Woman rescued from Housatonic River after kayak capsizes A city woman escaped serious injury Sun. afternoon (06-09) after her kayak capsized on the rain-swollen Housatonic River near Fred Garner Park. Shortly before 2:30 p.m., The Pittsfield Fire Dept. received a 911 call from a cellphone user near the park reporting the woman, later identified as Linda West, was in the water hanging onto debris, according to fire officials. "Once she flipped over, the kayak filled with water and she couldn't get back in," said Captain Peter Apple. About 30 min. later, firefighters located West about ½ mi. S. of the park. They pulled the accident victim from the swift-moving water and, escorted by her rescuers, walked out of a thickly wooded area at the end of Brunswick Street. She received medical treatment at the scene. West had overturned after her and her 80-y/o aunt, Joan Lillie, launched their 1-person kayaks from the city park. The aunt wasn't hurt as she never lost control of her vessel. However, firefighters still brought the aunt to shore for her own safety, given the Housatonic's fast-paced current. The 2 women were reunited at the park.  Pittsfield Deputy Fire Chief Michael Polidoro said West made the rescue go smoothly by wearing a life vest and staying put until help arrived. Read full story here.

 

06-09-13 BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ Man, Granddaughter Rescued from Capsized Kayak on Passaic River A Basking Ridge man and his 4-y/o granddaughter were pulled from the swiftly moving current of the Passaic River Sun. (06-09) by a Bernards Township police officer and Liberty Corner 1st Assistant Fire Chief Peter Aprahamian, as his daughter waited on the riverbank after managing to get her kayak out of the rushing water. Both rescuers risked their own safety by wading into the rushing waters to return the struggling kayakers safely to the shoreline, said Bernards police Chief Brian Bobowicz. The chief said township Sgt. Glen Amerman had been called to the section of the Passaic River between Haas Road and South Maple Ave. after receiving a report of stranded kayakers at about 2:45 p.m. Sun. When he arrived, Amerman found John Schulenberg of Basking Ridge and his 4-y/o granddaughter from Long Hill trapped in the center of the rushing river following the capsizing of their kayak. Meanwhile, Molly Schulenberg, John Schulenberg's 20-y/o daughter, had managed to make it to the riverbank with her kayak. There were multiple large trees down across the river making channels of swift-moving water that had made crossing the river extremely difficult. John's kayak was pinned under the water under a tree behind them. John was unsteady on his feet, was trying to hold onto his granddaugher and was caught in the trees. "I quickly took off the heavy parts of my uniform and entered the river," Amerman said he waded through chest deep water to get as close as possible to Schulenberg and the child. At that point, First Asst. Fire Chief Peter Aprahamian from the Liberty Corner Fire Co. entered the water to provide assistance. "Pete and I were able to tie a rope to the 2nd kayak, and I pushed the kayak to John. John put his granddaugher into the kayak, and I pulled it back to me," Amerman said. Aprahamian and Amerman removed the 4-y/o from the kayak and handed her to waiting rescue personnel. The kayak was sent back out to John so he would have a flotation device he could hold onto if the fast-moving water sent him down the river. Schulenberg then held onto the kayak as it was guided to get out of the river. No injuries. All of the victims were checked by the Liberty Corner First Aid Squad and were found to have suffered no injuries, he said. The Liberty Corner Fire Co. Bedminster-Far Hills swift water rescue team and the Mobile Intensive Care Unit also responded to assist. Read full story here.

 

06-08-13 ALBANY, NY Two rescued in kayak accident Albany police and firefighters responded to a 911 call at the Flint River Sat. (06-08) to rescue 2 kayakers. According to Kelly Harcrow, battalion chief with the Albany Fire Dept., Susan Cooper and her adult son, David, were kayaking the Flint near downtown shortly before 5 p.m. when David Cooper fell out of his kayak and into the rain-swollen river. Susan Cooper then drifted with the current and joined her son when he managed to swim to safety. Harcrow’s fire team was able to launch a boat at the “Marine ditch” south of Oakridge Boulevard, and pilot upriver to rescue the pair. Officials say both kayakers, who have limited experience with the sport, were doing well with no need for medical attention. According to Jim Vaught, deputy director of the Albany-Dougherty Emergency Mgmt. Agency, the rescued pair were part of a much larger group of kayakers and canoers participating in Paddle Georgia, an annual 106-mile paddle trip from Lake Blackshear to Bainbridge and the backwaters of Lake Seminole. Read full story here.

 

06-09-13 CROSBY, TX 8-year-old killed in tragic jet ski accident near Crosby

Family members are grieving the loss of an 8-y/o girl who was killed following a jet ski accident in Newport, just south of Crosby, Sun. night (06-09). The little girl was riding on the back of a jet ski that was being driven by an adult on a private around 8 p.m., according to Harris Co. Sheriff’s deputies. The driver swerved and the child fell off and into the water. That is when another jet ski, being driven by a family member, ran over the child. The girl was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hosp., but could not be saved. She was pronounced dead about an hr. after arriving at the hosp. Deputies said no charges were expected to be filed against anyone. They are calling it a tragic accident. Read full story here.

 

06-09-13 JEFFERSON, TX Two drown in private ETX lake The Marion Co. Sheriff's office has confirmed that 2 men drowned Sun.  night (06-09)  in a private lake in Jefferson, TX. According to Chief Deputy Frank Cason, the sheriff's office got a call just before 8 p.m. for a report of a possible drowning at a private lake on Liberty Road. A caller to 911 reported that 2men were drowning. Family members say 33-y/o Juan Andrade Olvera and 32-y/o Daniel Elias Olvera were on the private lake with a jet ski and small flat-bottomed boat. Daniel reportedly became distressed in the water and Juan tried to help. Both became tired and were not able to stay above water. Marion Co. deputies and Champion EMS arrived first on the scene and the 2 victims had already been under water for a significant amount of time.  At that point, according to Cason, it became a recovery effort and not a rescue. Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Marion Co. Dive Team arrived and recovered the bodies. The drowning has been ruled accidental. Read full story here. 

 

06-07-13 SHALIMAR, FL Personal watercraft hits bridge; two injured A personal watercraft carrying a father and son was pushed by a wave into a piling under the Shalimar Bridge on Fri. morning (06-07), according to rescue workers. The accident occurred about 9:30 a.m. The man and boy were thrown from the watercraft and suffered what appeared to be minor injuries, according to Robert Hall, battalion chief with the Ocean City-Wright Fire Dept. They were taken to Fort Walton Beach Med.Cen. by ambulance. They were wearing flotation devices. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comm. is investigating the accident. Read full story here.

 

06-02-13 LAKE GASTON, NC Driver charged in jet ski accident

A Northampton Co. man has been charged with reckless and negligent operation of a personal watercraft (PWC) after running over several young swimmers floating on a tube at Edwards Beach Sun. (06-02). According to Sgt. Carl Hatcher, of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Comm., Wayne Peterkin, 43, of Pleasant Hill, has a court date in Northampton County . around 6:30 p.m. Peterkin was operating a PWC (jet ski) near the shoreline when he claimed the vessel suffered a mechanical malfunction, accelerating on its own toward 2 youths floating on a tube. The craft struck the tube, injuring an 8 y/o boy who was treated for a laceration to the head and a possible concussion. N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission enforcement officer Brian Gillespie investigated, and the charges were brought based on the statements of witnesses and the totality of the circumstances. If the PWC was failing, he was still in charge of its operation, noting that jet skis are equipped with kill switches. Hatcher also said in North Carolina, it’s not lawful for PWC drivers to operate at more than idle speed within 100 ft. of a person swimming or a swim float. Read full story here. 

06-09-13 CAPE MAY, NJ Coast Guard aids woman hurt in sailboat accident  The USCG came to the aid of woman injured when the sailboat she was in ran aground off southern New Jersey. The operator of the 42-ft. sailboat Affinity notified watchstanders at CG Sector Delaware Bay about the incident, which occurred Sun. morning (06-09) near the Cape May Ferry Terminal. The man said his 57-y/o female passenger had suffered a rib injury after falling into the boat's railing. Watchstanders launched a crew from CG Station Cape May aboard a 45-ft. Response Boat. Crew members helped the woman and took her from the sailboat to their boat before taking her back to the station. The woman was being treated for chest and back pain and breathing problems. Further details on her condition were not disclosed. Read full story here.

 

06-07-13 CHARLESTON, SC Coast Guard rescues four men on sailboat pummeled by Andrea off Charleston Four men on a disabled sailboat trapped in Tropical Storm Andrea were plucked from the ocean 65 mi. offshore from Charleston on Fri. morning (06-07). “We spent all night just getting pummeled by the storm,” said Joel Kreider, 55, of Pittsburgh, the captain of the vessel. The USCG dispatched 2 helicopters carrying rescue swimmers. The crews hoisted to safety Kreider; Daniel Kelley, 23, of Huntsville, Ala.; and Clay Stevens, 25, and Josh Straitiff, 19, of Buffalo, N.Y. They were delivering a 35-ft. sailboat from the British Virgin Islands to Norfolk, Va., when the storm hit. “Some of the swells were huge,” Kelley said. Kreider said one thing after another went wrong on the trip that began May 27. Drained batteries and a lifeless engine were the most serious problems. They could sail, but at night they were without lights, even for a compass. “We were really in an unsafe situation where no one could see us,” he said. “Finally, Andrea hit us and that was the last straw. We were dead in the water against the wind and waves.” The storm shredded sails, leaving the vessel helpless against 20-ft. swells and winds up to 50 knots. An anchor was deployed but the storm ripped it away. “Last night was brutal. You are doing a whole lot of bobbing,” Stevens said. The vessel contacted the CG using a satellite phone charged by a wind generator. An Elizabeth City, N.C.,-based HC-130 Hercules plane spotted the disabled vessel. The Charleston-based CG Cutter Yellowfin arrived on the scene. Helicopter crews from Air Station Savannah were dispatched. One-by-one, the men jumped from the sailboat into the churning seas. Rescue swimmers guided them into a basket that was hoisted aboard a helicopter. They arrived at about 5:15 p.m. Fri. at Charleston Executive Airport on Johns Island. “We’re no longer shark bait!” one of the men shouted after climbing from a chopper. The sailors gratefully shook hands with the CG crews who had pulled them to safety. The sailboat crew first contacted the Coast Guard at about 6:22 p.m. Thu. (06-06). The Yellowfin was dispatched from Charleston at about 8:20 p.m. and reached the boat at midday Fri. The rescue effort was slowed by a combination of the weather and the distance from shore. None of the men were injured. Kreider said the sailboat was still afloat and would be salvaged. Read full story here.



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