Boating Accident News 8/27/2013

By Kristy Moore posted 08-27-2013 10:51 AM

08-23-13 LAWRENCE, NY Five Towns Boy Killed in Freak Boat Accident A 10 y/o boy whose leg came in contact with a boat’s propeller while swimming in the waters of Reynolds Channel in Lawrence lost his fight for life on Sat. (08-24). Aaron Tepfer was swimming in the waters off Cedarhurst YC, 3 mi. from his Cedarhurst home, when the incident occurred at approximately 2:20 PM on Fri. afternoon (08-23). Tepfer had gone tubing with 4 friends.  The tubes were being towed by the boat, a 27-ft. Sea Ray Sundeck, when Tepfer fell into the water.  The boy swam toward the boat, which was stopped in the water, but his leg came into contact with the propeller as he attempted to re-board the boat.  After being informed of the accident by his own son, the boat’s operator kept Tepfer’s head above water by grabbing onto his lifejacket, keeping the boy from being dragged under water until help arrived. Five different agencies were involved in the rescue attempt, including paramedics on boats and jet skis, who worked together to extricate Tepfer’s leg from the propeller.  Tepfer, who suffered serious blood loss, was stabilized at the scene and was transported to the foot of the Atlantic Beach Bridge, before being rushed to Long Island Jewish Med. Center in New Hyde Park.  Despite earlier optimistic reports in the local media, Tepfer, who was about to enter 6th grade, passed away on Sat. Read full story here.
08-24-13 CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY, NY Blasdell man identified as Evangola State Park drowning victim New York State Parks Police have identified the man who drowned Sat. evening (08-24) in Lake Erie off Evangola State Park as Brian McCluskey, 32, of  Blasdell. Police said McCluskey, who was with several family members, waded into the water in an unguarded area about 7:30 p.m. to swim to a boat anchored offshore. Family members called 911 when he went underwater and failed to resurface after several min. After a search by family members, police and the USCG, McCluskey was found in several ft. of water and pulled to shore, where CPR was administered. He was pronounced dead in Lake Shore Health Care Center, Irving, by Chief Chautauqua Co. Coroner Warren Riles. Read full story here.
08-24-13 LINCOLNVILLE, ME Rockport teen injured after falling out of boat A Rockport teen was injured after he fell out of a moving motorboat and it struck him. Jayson Kuhn, 17, was a passenger on a 18-ft. motorboat that was traveling on Megunticook Lake at about 7 p.m. Sat. (08-24), according to Maine State Game Warden Doug Kulis. The operator of the boat — Chandler Crans, 17, of Camden — was slowing the boat down when Kuhn lost his balance while standing at the bow. Kuhn fell in the water and the boat traveled over him. He suffered cuts and bruises to his head, arm and hands, according to the game warden. Crans was able to get Kuhn into the boat, took him to shore and then to a hosp. The injuries were not serious. There will be no charges, Kulis added. Read full story here.
08-26-13 DALLAS, TX 4 little girls, father rescued from boat stranded on sand bar in Lake Ray Hubbard Four little girls, ages 3 to 7, with their father were stranded on a sand bar in Lake Ray Hubbard Mon. afternoon (08-26), Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans reports. Rescuers were dispatched about 12:45 p.m. after reports of a 24-ft. boat had run aground by the power plant near the E. shore. No injuries were reported. It’s unclear how their boat ended up on the sand bar, but it’s still out there, in the middle of Lake Ray Hubbard. The owner intends to a hire someone to salvage it by inflating air bags under it. Read full story here.
08-25-13 HUNTINGTON, NY Boat Catches Fire at Yacht Club A 40-ft. motor boat caught fire at the Huntington YC Sun. night (08-25). Halesite FD Chief Dan McConnell said Mon. (08-26) no one was injured in the blaze, which was reported by the boat owner about 7:47 p.m.
"The Halesite Fire Department trains for this type of emergency every year," McConnell said. "Last night our members knocked down the fire quickly and prevented it from spreading to other boats. I am grateful for the work of our members, those of the Huntington and Centerport FDs, as well as the harbor master."
About 50 firefighters responded to the fire; mutual aid was provided by Huntington and Centerport. The boat was towed to a private marina on Huntington Harbor and hauled out of the water. Read full story here.
08-25-13 TOMAHAWK, WI Tomahawk man drowns diving from pontoon boat to save dog Lincoln Co. authorities have recovered the body of a 67-y/o Tomahawk man who apparently drowned after leaving his pontoon boat to help a dog. A report says deputies received a call Sun. (08-25) about 4:30 p.m. reporting that a man disappeared from his pontoon boat in the town of Tomahawk. A witness says the man went into the water to help the dog, but the man and dog struggled and the man sank beneath the surface. Rescuers found his body 2 hrs. later in water that was about 5 1/2 ft. deep. The victim is originally from the Milwaukee area. His name has not been released. Read full story here.
08-24-13 GRAND ISLE, LA Coast Guard sends helicopter to capsized boat near Grand Isle The USCG airlifted a person out of a capsized boat Sat. It happened about 200 yds. offshore of Grand Isle at about 7 p.m. Sat. (08-24). Officials said the boat was heading to Caminada Pass when a gust of wind caused the boat to capsize. A helicopter rescued one person, dropping them off on the beach, while the remaining 3 people on the boat "reportedly jumped off the pontoon into waist-deep water and waded ashore," according to officials. The helicopter had a malfunction during the airlift, but crew were able to manually override the hoist and finish the lift. There were no reported injuries. Officials said a radio beacon alert helped crews find the boat. Read full story here.
08-23-13 PLACID LAKE, MT Authorities search for missing man on Placid Lake; boat found adrift Rescuers continued the search Sun. (08-25) for a 69-y/o man missing on Placid Lake, according to the Missoula Co. Sheriff’s Office. The Montana man had taken his boat onto the lake Fri. (08-03) to work on it mechanically, said Paige Pavalone, PIO for the sheriff’s office. She said he and his wife were camping there, and he typically lets his boat drift as he works. “He doesn’t anchor up. He just bobs around the lake and works on it,” Pavalone said. The man was last seen about 3:30 p.m. Fri., and the boat was later found unattended and drifting, according to the sheriff’s office. Pavalone said the boat was pulled to shore, and a rescue effort was launched. On Sat. (08-24), Seeley-Swan Search and Rescue worked to locate the man, and Sun. the team was joined by rescuers from Missoula Search and Rescue and Flathead Search and Rescue, an estimated 25 people in all, not counting individual volunteers. Flathead brought a helicopter, a dive team and sonar equipment, and grid searches were underway. “They’ve got basically the best of the best in Montana looking for him right now,” Pavalone said. “They just don’t know what happened.“ Authorities identified the man only as a 69-y/o Montanan, and they are considering him a missing person. Pavalone said he does not have a history of wandering off, and it isn’t clear if he had health problems. Rescuers searched until dark Sat. and planned to continue the hunt until nightfall Sun. Read full story here.
08-23-13 ANDERSON COUNTY, TN TWRA investigating head-on boat collison The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is investigating a 2-boat collision on Norris Lake near Anderson Co. Park that sent 3 people to the hosp. Fri. night (08-23). According to TWRA, a runabout boat hit a bass boat head-on. Two passengers from the bass boat were thrown into the water and all 3 passengers were taken to UT Med. Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Both passengers on the runabout boat were uninjured. TWRA said there was evidence of alcohol on both boats and both drivers were tested for Blood Alcohol Content. Read full story here.
08-25-13 CONNEAUT, OH 3 rescued by passing boater after boat capsizes Three people were rescued by a passing boater Sun. afternoon (08-25) after their boat capsized overnight on Lake Erie, off the coast near Conneaut. It is not clear exactly when the boat capsized, but officials believe the 3 people had been out on the water with the capsized boat all night long. Conneaut Police did not comment. A USCG spokesperson said the CG later searched the water for the boat, located it and arranged to have it towed. The conditions of the 3 rescued people were not made available.Read full story here.
VERONA, NY Four rescued from sinking boat on Oneida Lake Four people were rescued after their boat began to take on water in Oneida Lake Sat. night (08-24). According to the Oneida Co. Sheriff's Dept., the vessel was traveling in an area known as Cozy Corners, near the Verona Beach Lighthouse, when the pontoon struck an underwater object. A passing boat received the stranded ship's distress call, and was able to rescue the passengers to safety. Further investigation into the incident revealed that the boat hit a metal object hidden under the water, tearing a hole in its hull, and causing it to take on water. The potentially dangerous situation was resolved with no injuries being reported. Read full story here.
08-25-13 HIGHLAND FALLS, NY Boat runs aground near Bear Mountain Bridge A boat was reported to have run aground in the Hudson River onto “Con Hook” near Highland Falls Sun. night (08-25) and that brought out several FD rescue boats and a State Police helicopter. The boat took on a foot of water. There were no reports of injuries; however, initial reports said occupants of the craft had been rescued by another boater and were taken to Garrison on the E. side of the river. Highland Falls, Newburgh and West Point FDs had boats in the water. Highland Falls and Fort Montgomery FDs, Highland Falls Volunteer Ambulance Corps and mobile Life Support Services were all on the scene of the 9:15 p.m. incident.Read full story here.

08-23-13 FT. LAUDERDALE, FL Boat strikes Las Olas Boulevard Bridge A 90-ft. sailboat struck the Las Olas Boulevard Bridge that connects the mainland to the beach in Fort Lauderdale on Fri. afternoon (08-23), but injured no one, a city spokesman said. Adam Matza, who was riding his bike across the bridge, said he heard construction workers yelling, "Reverse, reverse," before the vessel struck the N. side of the bridge. "So the mast crashed against the bridge and started bending backward. It was a crunching noise; it sounded like metal on metal," he said. Traffic wasn't too heavy, but cars were on the bridge when the boat hit it. The incident occurred at about 12:45 p.m. when the boat had a mechanical failure, city spokesman Matt Little said. There were 8 people onboard at the time of the crash. Read full story here.

08-26-13 PORT TOWNSEND, WA Man dies when tiny skiff capsizes off Port Townsend The body of a 58-y/o Olympia man was discovered in the water between Point Wilson and Point Hudson Mon. (08-26) after a small skiff in which he was riding apparently capsized. The man has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin, according to Deputy Jefferson Co. Prosecuting Attorney David Alvarez, who is acting as coroner. A pleasure craft observed the capsized boat and the body about a mile out into the water and called it in at 9:45 a.m. Rescue workers were able to get to the site in just over 15 min. They retrieved the body and towed the skiff back to Port Townsend Boat Haven.Read full story here.

08-25-13 POLSON, MT Huson man missing in Flathead Lake; boat, dogs found Lake Co. authorities continued searching Mon. (08-26) for the body of a Huson man whose boat was found caught on rocks Sun. (08-25) next to Big Bull Island on Flathead Lake. The man was identified as 36-y/o Nathan Bird, who left a private campground at Paradise Cove, located S. of Finley Point, with 2 dogs to go fishing at approximately 10:30 a.m. Sun. The boat was discovered, with a lone dog on board, within 1 ½ hrs. of Bird’s departure, and was reported to the Lake Co. Sheriff’s Office shortly after noon. The Lake Co. sheriff’s boat was dispatched to the scene. Even though the dog wouldn’t initially let officers board the boat, according to the woman who found it, officers were able to retrieve a cell phone from the dashboard and find contact information for the missing boater’s wife. After speaking to her, the Lake Co. Search and Rescue boat and Polson fireboat were immediately dispatched as well. Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Karen Sargeant said the search was called off late Sun. evening when a fierce lightning and wind storm swept through the area, but searchers returned at 7 a.m. Mon. It officially became a “recovery” operation after a helicopter from Flathead Co. flew over Big Bull and all nearby islands and their shorelines Mon. morning and saw no sign of Bird. A Big Bull Island summer resident said she noticed the boat as she drove her boat down the shoreline to visit a neighbor Sun., and initially thought it was just anchored close to the island. A closer inspection revealed one dog on board, but no person, and that the boat’s propeller was hung up on rocks under the water. The sheriff’s office was immediately notified. The other dog was later found, wet and shivering, on the island. Both dogs, and the boat, were later returned to Bird’s wife. Boats and a diver from Lake Co. Search and Rescue and the Lake Co. Sheriff’s Office searched the area E. of Big Bull Island Sun. They were joined by the helicopter, Flathead Co. Search and Rescue and 5 more divers on Mon., when the search began to expand between Finley Point on the E. shore, and King’s Point on the W. shore. Big Bull Island is the largest island in The Narrows, a group of islands that separate Polson Bay from what’s known as “the big lake.” Missoula Co. authorities, meantime, continue to search for a 69-y/o man whose boat was found adrift on Placid Lake on Fri. (08-23).Read full story here.

08-26-13 WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY, SC Man drowns after boat capsizes The DNR is investigating a boating accident that claimed the life of a Williamsburg Co. man Mon. afternoon (08-26). Timothy York, 39, was on a boat at the Longland Plantation in the Greeleyville community. York and another man were working on spraying the pond for weeds when their boat became filled with water and capsized, according to Williamsburg Co. Sheriff Michael Johnson. Johnson says that neither man could swim. One man managed to hold on to the boat and make it to the bank. He called 911 for help. York went under water and disappeared. Divers searched for him for 6 hours before finding his body. Williamsburg Co. Deputy Coroner William Horton says it's believed York died as a result of drowning, but an autopsy will determine his exact cause of death. Williamsburg Co. Rescue and the Williamsburg Co. Dive Team helped in the search. Read full story here.

08-26-13 LAKEVILLE, MA 
Teen struck by boat while wakeboarding on Lakeville pond A male teenager was seriously injured after being struck by a boat while wakeboarding on Long Pond in Lakeville Mon. afternoon (08-26). Police responded to the incident at about 1:15 p.m. The 18-y/o victim, who was conscious and alert upon the arrival of rescue crews, had suffered a laceration and was taken to Rhode Island Hosp. via medical helicopter, officials from the Lakeville Fire Dept. said. Lakeville officers and the Mass. Environmental Police are investigating the incident.Read full story here.
08-21-13 ANCHORAGE, AK Boat overturns near Nenai River mouth; two rescued A fishing boat carrying 2 crew members overturned in heavy swells near the Kenai River mouth but both men are safe with help from rescue boats. People in Beluga Lookout Lodge on Wed. night (08-21) saw the fishing vessel Six turn over. Private skiffs and crews from the Kenai and Nikiski FDs rushed to the overturned boat. Kenai FD fire marshal Eric Wilcox says the crewmen were picked up and checked out at Central Peninsula Hosp. Crewmen Allan Baldwin said that the boat took water over the bow and a following wave pushed the boat on its side. He says he knew help was coming when he saw red lights on the bluff and beach. The vessel remains partially submerged near Chinulna Point. Read full story here.
08-20-13 SAN FRANCISCO, CA Scary accident during America’s Cup boat race sends two men overboard In the first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals, part of the America’s Cup, Team New Zealand’s hulls crashed into the water while trying to make a turn at high-speed, sending 2 men overboard. They were quickly picked up by a rescue boat, and neither was harmed. Team New Zealand went on to win the race anyway, despite the accident. The scary moment was a pertinent reminder of just how dangerous sailing in the America’s Cup has become. The competition’s new model of boat, the AC72, is capable of speeds near 50 MPH. In May, British sailor Andrew Simpson was killed when his AC72 capsized. After Simpson’s death, British team owner Keith Mills warned The Telegraph that the new boats are simply too fast. Read full story here.
08-22-13 WEEKI WATCHEE, FL Weeki Wachee mermaid severely injured by boat propeller A Weeki Wachee Springs mermaid was injured Thur. on the waters off Hernando Beach after she fell out of a pontoon boat and landed on the boat’s propeller. Samantha Maywell of Brooksville was injured in the leg by the propeller, but 2 other mermaids with her were not injured, according to John Athanason, public relations manager for the park. Kevin Carroll, asst. fire chief with Hernando Co. Fire Rescue, said Maywell was on a pontoon boat in the Gulf when she fell. “She had severe left leg damage from hitting the boat propeller,” Carroll said, adding that those aboard the boat helped her back aboard and took her to shore. “She had a very critical injury and she was in critical condition.” Hernando Co. Fire Rescue received the emergency call at 4:32 p.m., and at 4:48 p.m. the pontoon boat carrying Maywell arrived at the Hernando Beach boat ramp, indicating they were about 15 min. offshore when the incident occurred. Fire rescue treated Maywell at the boat ramp and transported her to Regional Med. Center Bayonet Point. The incident will be investigated by either the Hernando Co. Sheriff’s Office Marine Division or Florida FWC. Read full story here.
08-23-13 DEALE, MD Boat found adrift, boater found later in Md. Early Fri. morning (08-23), DNR officials said police found a 9-ft. boot adrift. Authorities were told someone went out in the boat, which prompted a search. Authorities later found a man in wet clothing in the area. He told them that he had been in the boat. Authorities said the man is okay.  Read full story here.
08-25-13 BUZZARDS BAY, MA Bourne police sort out Sunday morning boating mayhem at marina Bourne police and the DNR early Sun. morning (08-25) sorted out the details in a boat collision at the Taylors Point Marina, off Main Street, Buzzards Bay. Police were told one boater had run into several other craft at the marina’s boat ramp. One vessel was left with a hole above the water line. There were no injuries. Sgt. Brandon Esip and Officer Lance Bergman handled the call. Read full story here.
08-17-13 ATCHAFALAYA BASIN, LA Short in throttle tilt/trim switch causes prop to breach in California Canal, sends boat into bank at 45 mph Robert Wray was heading down the California Canal about midday Sat. (08-17) on his way to one of his favorite fishing holes, just like he had done hundreds of times before in the Spillway. In the blink of an eye, the Prairieville resident went from cruising at about 55 mph to holding on for a bumpy ride as his 20-ft. Stratos 200XL veered right, skidded over several small tallow trees and ran completely up onto the bank.
“I remember just cruising along, and then I remember hearing my motor wind out and I felt the end of my boat slide to the left. My nose started pointing towards the bank,” he said. “But it wasn’t a hard impact. It acted like a sled because the motor wasn’t in the water to catch.  “It basically slid up on the bank and kind of drifted sideways. Once it hit the top of the little hill, it just kind of rocked backwards.” Miraculously, both angler and boat survived the impact with little damage. Wray was completely unharmed, and the boat just had a few minor scratches. “When it came to rest, I checked myself to make sure there wasn’t any blood or bones sticking out anywhere,” he said with a grin. “Then I just sat there a second and I realized my motor was still running at idle.” With the assistance of his father-in-law, brother-in-law and several helpful boaters who stopped to lend a hand, he got the vessel  back into the water after several hrs. of pushing, pulling and tree-clearing.  He eventually idled back to his father-in-law’s camp, and found the motor was continually trimming up out of the water by itself. Since he uses a blinker-style trim switch mounted on his steering column, he determined the problem was coming from the tilt/trim switch on the throttle shifter. At the camp, they discovered 2 wires inside the handle had been rubbed bare and were hot to the touch. He cut and taped them so they couldn’t short anymore, and he hasn’t had any issues since. “People just need to be aware that there are several hidden hazards you can have,” he said. “Anything electrical can go bad in an instant. Be aware that inside of that rotating handle you can have nicks in wires that can cause a short. Just be aware of that potential.” “I wasn’t maxed out at all. That boat will run 78 mph,” he said. “I was tooling around at 55 (mph) at 4,500 rpm. For most boats, that your optimal operating range as far as rpm’s. “Whether I had a 115 (-horsepower) or a 125 or a 300, if your motor comes out of the water, it’s going to do the same thing. I don’t care if you’re running in a 10-foot bateau with a 25 on it, it’ll do the same thing,” he said. “It’ll send you into the woods. Once your prop breaches the surface of the water, you have no control. You’re at the mercy of the momentum of that boat. But if my story prevents this from happening to one other person, it’s worth it.” Wray, 39, is extremely grateful that he walked away from the accident, and understands the story could very well have had a different ending. He hopes his experience will at least make others aware of what could potentially happen on the water - with absolutely no warning.Read full story here.
08-26-13 BOCA GRANDE, FL Deceased person found on sailboat near Boca Grande The Lee Co. Sheriff's Office is investigating a deceased person found on a 1979 white 37-ft. sailboat near Boca Grande Pass last night. Two men were on the boat in addition to the victim. All 3 of them were from Lithuania. The next of kin for the deceased is unknown at the time. The USCG and Boca Grande FD responded offshore to render aid just before 11:30 p.m. The boat was brought to shore for the investigation, after the victim was pronounced deceased. According to the title, the original owner of the boat was a Venice resident. he investigation continues. Read full story here.
08-26-13 PORTLAND, OR Sailboat flips in Willamette River A small sailboat flipped in the Willamette River Mon. afternoon (08-26) and the river patrol quickly responded to help out.
The boat flipped near the docking spot for the Spirit of Portland, adjacent to the Salmon Springs Fountain.
Two women were on the boat when it flipped and tried to right it themselves, but struggled. Then the river patrol boat arrived and firefighters helped pull the boat upright and warm up the sailors.
No one was hurt. Read full story here.
08-25-13 LAKE CONROE, TX Two men rescued from submerged sailboat Sunday A sailboat and crew were rescued Sun. afternoon by Montgomery Co. Precinct 1 Marine Division in Lake Conroe. Two men, in their twenties, were sailing near Seven Coves about 3:30 p.m. Sun. (08-25) when their boat began to fill with water. “We call it swamping,” Montgomery Co. Lt. Timothy Cade said. Swamping occurs when a boat’s edge dips beneath the water’s surface, flooding its interior and causing it to sink. A pontoon boat carrying 2 couples and a child was passing by when the 2 men began shouting and waving for help, Guilherme Casilicchio, of Houston, said.
“We helped them out of the water and called 911,” he said. According to Cade, officers assisted the 2 men and the sailboat was towed to the Seven Coves area. Both arrived safely. Read full story here.
08-23-13 VENICE, CA Sailboat runs aground in Venice; no one hurt There were some tense moments as a sailboat ran aground in Venice Fri. night (08-23). Officials with the Los Angeles Co. FD say the person behind the wheel of the 30-ft. sailboat misjudged the channel, beaching the boat just off Ocean Front Walk around 8:45 p.m. Thirteen people were on board. Some of them were thrown into the water and had to be rescued by lifeguards. Fortunately, no one was injured. The boat didn't appear to be damaged and was later towed to Marina Del Rey. Read full story here.

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