Boating Accident News 9/6/2013

By Kristy Moore posted 09-06-2013 10:49 AM

09-05-13 CHICAGO, IL 12 rescued after boat hits Lake Michigan break wall Emergency crews rescued a dozen people from a boat in distress on Lake Michigan Thur. evening (09-05) in the Kenwood neighborhood. FD rescue crews responded about 6:15 p.m. to the 4600 block of South Lake Shore Drive and found a boat hitting the break wall, according to Fire Media Affairs. All 12 passengers were helped onto a police Marine Unit boat and nobody was injured. Police could not immediately provide further details. The boat was "disabled" with "some damage," according to the FD.
The National Weather Service had issued a small craft advisory in effect until 10 p.m. for Lake Michigan from Winthrop Harbor to Gary, Ind. because of waves that could reach 9 ft. Read full story here.
09-05-13 GWINNETT COUNTY, GA Swift water rescue team called after boat capsizes A swift water rescue team was called into action after some boaters ended up in the Chattahoochee River on Thur. (09-05). Two men were anchored in a small aluminum boat when another boat's wake capsized it, sending the men into the water. One man swam ashore, but was worried about his friend and called 911. The other man was found about ¼ mile down the river. Crews removed the boat from the river and neither man was hurt. Read full story here.
09-01-13 LAKE OF THE WOODS, MN Sheriff: Busted, jury-rigged exhaust system led to Lake of the Woods boating deaths A deadly accident on Lake of the Woods on Sun. (09-01) shows that even in an open boat, carbon monoxide can kill, authorities said Wed. (09-04). “A perfect storm” of dangers, including a busted exhaust pipe that was jury-rigged, combined to kill 2 men and nearly kill a 3rd, said a sheriff’s dispatcher and an expert with the Minnesota DNR. Found dead in a 25-ft. cruiser on Sun. night were owner Lonnie Norberg, 44, and Jeffrey Wheeler, 35, both of Champlin. Their fishing buddy, Christopher Klick, 43, of Crystal, said that sometime after 6:30 p.m., he fell unconscious for at least 4 hrs. before awakening in pitch black with big waves tossing the boat on the huge lake, which straddles the border between Minnesota and Canada. Klick, badly battered and burned from the engine, managed to get the boat started and drive for 10-15 min. toward lights on shore before running aground, he said in an interview Tue. night (09-03) from a hosp. bed in Grand Forks. The 1990 Baja cruiser had an inboard, 260-HP motor. After the incident, the boat was towed from the Birch Beach area N. of Williams to the Lake of the Woods Co. Sheriff’s Office. Deputies found part of the exhaust system broken. An aluminum pop can was found shoved in one of the boat’s 2 exhaust pipes, apparently to plug water from washing back into the engine compartment, the sheriff’s office said. “Somewhere between where it’s connected to the engine and where it goes out of the boat, it was broken,” a dispatcher said. “And they just left the one side dumping into the bilge area, but they put a pop can in the other side so the water wouldn’t come back in the boat.” That forced exhaust fumes back into the engine compartment. On the deck, an engine hatch known as a “doghouse” had been lifted off and not put back on. Fumes vented up through that opening. The wind, estimated at 10 to 15 mph by Klick and law enforcement officials, was at the men’s backs and apparently kept blowing the fumes at them as they sat on the main deck. In front of the men, a hard top and windshield around the helm may have enabled fumes to collect. The water was rough Sun. night, Klick said, with waves 4-5 ft. high. Carbon-monoxide symptoms resemble seasickness, said Kara Owens, DNR boat and water safety specialist.Read full story here.
09-04-13 NAPLES, FL Man hospitalized after boat explosion Officials say a man was hospitalized with burns in SW Florida after his boat exploded near the Naples City Dock. The man, whose name wasn't released, was taken to a nearby hosp. Wed. morning (09-04). Harbormaster Roger Jacobsen says it wasn't immediately known what caused the explosion, but the boat wasn't fueling or tied to the dock when it occurred. No damage was done to the City Dock, and the small fire on the 24-ft. boat had extinguished itself by the time crews arrived.Read full story here.
08-31-13 LUBBOCK, TX CMN Miracle Kid saves family from sinking boat A Sudan, Texas girl is being called a hero after rescuing a family on Buffalo Springs Lake over the weekend. Natalee Olivarez says she was out on the lake with her family on Sat. evening (08-31) when she noticed a nearby boat was overtaken by waves, causing the occupants to jump out in the middle of the deep lake. "The first thing I saw was a man holding a baby and the baby was going under," said Olivarez, 16. "When I realized they needed help, my reaction was to jump in the water and get to the 1st person that I could," Olivarez said. Olivarez says that was the little baby.  However, her job was far from over. "I saw a woman holding a 2-y/o and I helped get the 2-y/o on our boat.  Then I pulled a little boy about 5 away from getting squished between our 2 boats and treaded water until I could find the time to put him on our boat.  Then I helped another little girl about 11," she said. Natalee has been fighting a chronic pain disease for the past 3 years.  But through treatments, she says the pain stopped a few months ago. Read full story here.
09-03-13 SAUK CENTRE, MN 2 boats collide on Fairy Lake Two boats collided Tue. (09-03) on Fairy Lake, damaging both, the Todd Co. Sheriff’s Office said. The crash happened at 3:13 p.m. in Kandota Township. Gary Reins of rural Sauk Centre was piloting an Alumacraft boat when it struck the Lund fishing boat used by Stanley Patyk. Patyk had been trolling in the NW part of the lake, the sheriff’s office said. Reins and his 3 passengers were not injured. His boat received minimal damage. Patyk was not injured. His boat received moderate damage on the right side.Read full story here.
08-30-13 CHARLEVOIX, MI Fire destroys boat on Lake Charlevoix A fire, apparently sparked by a faulty cooking stove, destroyed a sailboat moored on Lake Charlevoix’s Oyster Bay late Fri. (08-30). Charlevoix Township Fire Chief Dan Thorp said firefighters were called to the area of Indian Trails Road in Hayes Township around 8:30 p.m. Fri. to a report of a boat on fire in Oyster Bay. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found a 34-ft. Tartan sailboat fully engulfed in flames about 100-150 yards off shore. Thorp said the owners, a couple from Northport, reported that they were attempting to light an alcohol-fueled stove on the boat when it flashed-over causing a fire on the boat. The couple tried briefly to extinguish the fire, but then abandoned the boat aboard a dinghy they had with the sailboat. The couple made it to shore safely aboard the dinghy. Thorp said fire crews had no way to reach the burning boat, so he contacted officials at USCG Station Charlevoix who gave them permission to put out the fire using a boat from Bergmann Marine. He said it took about an hour to make the necessary arrangements. When fire crews arrived at the sailboat, all that remained was the bottom portion of the fiberglass hull. Firefighters used a portable pump to extinguish the lingering fire and then crews from Bergmann used another pump to get the water out of the hull to prevent it from sinking. “It was probably minutes away from sinking,” Thorp said. Bergmann Marine crews then towed what remained of the sailboat back to their dock and returned the following morning to retrieve the boat’s mast from the water. Firefighters, who were also assisted by the USCG and the Charlevoix Co. Sheriff’s Office, were on the scene until about 12:30 a.m. Read full story here.
09-02-13 CHICGO, IL Family Calls For Help From Sinking Jet Ski On Lake Michigan A suburban family is thankful for their rescuers and their smart phone. They became stranded on a sinking vessel on the lake off Portage on Labor Day (09-02) when they called for help. Later, a reporter spoke with them. “At first we couldn’t hear because one of the waves did come and drop the phone out of our hand. But we were able to get it back,” said Darlene Garduno. The 12-y/o dialed 911 in a desperate attempt to save her family from drowning on Labor Day. She, her 14-y/o sister, her dad and an 8-y/o cousin were riding a jet ski on a calm Lake Michigan at midday when suddenly the waves picked up- and their jet ski flipped. Savino Garduno was driving about a mile from shore when the waves tossed them. The jet ski was taking on water. Corporal Guy Wendorf with the Indiana DNR cut through the water to save the family. Wendorf says the family battled the chilly waves for about an hour until officers arrived to pull them out. Clear details from the 14-y/o, pinpointed the family’s location near the Mittal Steel plant in Portage. Read full story here.
09-01-13 CAMP FAR WEST RESERVOIR, CA Man hurt in Jet Ski accident man on a Jet Ski suffered major injuries Sun. (09-01) during an collision on Camp Far West Reservoir and was transported to a regional hosp. in a helicopter. The man's name was not available, but he was said to be in his mid-20s, the Yuba Co. Sheriff's Dept. reported. Deputy Brett Felion said the man was riding the Jet Ski around noon when the collision occurred. "The report was that he got too close to a boat and got caught on a tow-line," Felion said. "He sustained facial injuries and lacerations and complained of neck and back pain." Dispatcher traffic reported the man's neck became tangled in the tow line, but Felion could not immediately confirm those reports on Sun. The collision remains under investigation.
09-05-13 MIAMI, FL Watercraft slams into fence A PWC slammed into a fence Thur. afternoon, leaving the vehicle's driver injured. Just after 12:15 p.m., authorities responded to the accident along 89th Avenue and Grand Canal Drive. Rescue crews transported the victim to Kendall Regional Medical. No word on his condition. Authorities are investigating to determine whether speed or alcohol played a role in the crash.Read full story here.
09-02-13 PALOS VERDES, CA Whale Slams Into Sailboat, Man Recounts 'Great Big Crash' A couple's dramatic run-in with a whale nearly sank their sailboat off Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Ian Jory said that he and his wife Jo were returning from Catalina Island on Mon. (09-02) around 1 p.m. They'd just seen another boater who was whale watching in the fog when they felt a huge impact on the bottom of their 31-ft. sailboat. "We were just sitting there, not moving, and all of a sudden there was a great big crash," Jory said of their encounter with the whale, which he estimated to be 50 ft. long. "It lifted the left side of the boat 4-6 ft. out of the water." The whale first struck the left side of the boat and a moment later, struck the other side. Jory figures that he probably struck them by accident while surfacing for air or feeding. "All I have is a small motor and it was in idle, and it hardly makes any noise so maybe it couldn't hear us," he said. Both collisions left cracks in the hull and because water started seeping in, Jory radioed for help. A lifeguard boat and Redondo Beach FD boat responded to the call, and a lifeguard jumped into the water to inspect the damage. They then escorted the sailboat to King Harbor in Redondo Beach. Thomas's brother Scott happens to be the manager of the King Harbor Marine boat-repair yard, and said that in addition to the cracked hull, the bulkheads inside the sailboat were separated as result of the whale strikes. Thomas posted a photo of the boat showing where the whale rubbed off the paint. The cracked hull isn't apparent in the pic. He says the boat is salvageable, but the bulkhead damage is "pretty extensive." Scott Thomas told LAist that he's never seen a boat damaged by a whale before. He's heard stories of boats running into whales, but not the other way around. There have been a dozen or more blue whales feeding off the Long Beach-Palos Verdes area during the past several days.  Read full story here.
09-04-13 RACINE, WI 2 rescued by Coast Guard from damaged sailboat near Racine The USCG rescued 2 people Wed. morning (09-04) from a sailboat that was flooding in Lake Michigan 7 mi. E. of Racine. Around midnight, CG Sector Lake Michigan received a distress call from the boat, which had a broken propeller shaft. A rescue crew arrived at 12:30 a.m., plugged up the hole to slow incoming water, then towed the boat to Pugh Marina in Racine, mooring it around 2:30 a.m. The CG said it was not releasing names and hometowns of the rescued individuals. The CG also urges boaters to have a VHF-FM marine band radio, in order to call for help in emergencies. Read full story here.
09-04-13 MILTON, NH No one injured after sailboat capsizes in Milton Three Ponds A fellow boater came to the rescue of a local man after the wind overturned his small sailboat near the town beach Wed. afternoon (09-04). Police, firefighters and emergency personnel responded at 2:22 p.m. to the beach on Route 125 – after the boat capsized in Milton Three Ponds. By the time they arrived, the man was already rescued, according to Milton fire Lt. Jarrod Wheeler. “We never actually went into the water,” Wheeler said, adding both the fire and police boats responded as a precaution.
The man did not appear injured and refused treatment. Read full story here.
09-02-13 HOMOSASSA, FL 1 injured in Homosassa boating accident A woman was transported to the hosp. after a boating accident in Homosassa. According to the FWC, the victim was ejected from the boat when it apparently struck a submerged object believed to be a rock. The boat then hit the victim, according to early reports. The accident happened in the Homosassa River near the Crab House Restaurant. The woman suffered injuries to the upper body and head. She was taken by helicopter to Baynonnette Point Hosp. in Pasco County.Read full story here.

09-03-13 SEMINOLE, FL Katie Yale, teen critically injured in tubing accident on Labor Day at Lake Seminole, has died The 15-ye/ girl critically injured on Labor Day (09-02) in  a tubing accident on Lake Seminole died of her injuries Tue. morning (09-03). The Pinellas Co. Sheriff's Office confirmed the news to the media. Sources at the scene initially said one person received minor injuries when a Sea-Doo collided with a rope that was attached to a boat that had been towing someone on a raft. However, on Mon. night officials said the accident was much more serious and that 15-y/o Katie Yale was critically injured, while 13-y/o Aubree Franz had minor injuries. Investigators say it was sometime before 1:45 p.m. when Douglas Yale, 44, was driving the boat and towing Katie and Aubree on a tube. The accident happened as Ryan Godcharles, 21, collided with the tube while on a Sea-Doo. The collision, which officials have said does not appear to be a result of alcohol, sent the girls into the water. Both girls were taken to a local hosp., where Katie died the following day. Godcharles was not injured in the crash. Read full story here.

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