Boating Accident News 9/10/2013

By Kristy Moore posted 09-10-2013 10:50 AM

09-07-13 WAYNE COUNTY, KY Two killed after boat flips during Lake Cumberland Poker Run Investigators say driver error is what caused an accident that killed 2 boaters Sat. morning (09-07) on Lake Cumberland. The boaters were taking part in the Lake Cumberland Poker Run which on its website claims to combine "the raw fury of over 150 of the country’s meanest and fastest powerboats with the fun and energy of Mardi Gras." "Boats do travel at pretty high speeds, a lot of high-performance vessels, fast boats," Sgt. Wayne Glover with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife said. Glover believes the boat the men were in was going in excess of 100 mph and speed was a factor in the crash.
The men's boat flipped near Ramsey Point on what is meant to be a fun weekend for speedboat enthusiasts who put their boats’ horsepower to the test. Organizers say the Lake Cumberland Poker Run is one of the largest events of its kind in the country. Event organizers add the lake was clear and spectators were keeping a safe distance from the speedboats while they were traveling through the area. Poker run officials say the weekend's events will go on as scheduled. Read full story here.
09-07-13 PORTLAND, ME Pingree unhurt as boat crash injures three A water taxi carrying U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree collided with a 20-ft. recreational boat Sat. night (09-07) in Portland Harbor. Pingree escaped injury, but 3 others were hurt, including her husband, Portland financier Donald Sussman. Willy Ritch, a spokesman for Pingree, said Sussman, 67, suffered a head injury and numerous cuts and bruises. He was transported by the Portland FD to Maine Med. Center, where he was treated and released early Sun. (09-08). Ritch said Sussman and Pingree returned to their home on North Haven, an island off Rockland in Penobscot Bay. Officials said they received a call from the water taxi around 10:14 p.m. reporting the collision near Fort Gorges. Crews aboard 2 of Portland’s fireboats responded and took about 20 min. to locate the damaged boats, said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Wassick. They found all of the passengers were conscious, but 2 of the 7 people on the water taxi and one of the 2 people on the pleasure boat were injured. The pleasure boat passenger, Sally Handy of Boulder, Colo., was the most seriously hurt, said Maine Marine Patrol Officer Scott Couture, who also responded to the crash Sat. night. She was taken to Maine Med. Center, where a nursing supervisor said she was in fair condition Sun. evening (09-08). Jackie Potter, a former Pingree staff member who was on the water taxi, suffered minor injuries. She was treated at Maine Med and released. The crash occurred while Pingree and Sussman were aboard the Bay Express, owned by Portland Express Water Taxi. They had attended the wedding of one of Pingree’s former staff members on Great Chebeague Island. Sussman is the majority share owner of MaineToday Media, which owns the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel. The group on the water taxi also included Bill Black, Potter’s husband; Jesse Connolly, Pingree’s chief of staff; Nicole Clegg, Connolly’s wife and a spokeswoman for the city of Portland; and the pilot. Handy and Christopher Pizey, the owner and pilot of the pleasure boat, were headed back from downtown Portland to Peaks Island, where Pizey lives, the USCG said. His boat, the Miss M, a Grady White Overnighter 20, was seriously damaged, with its fiberglass bow caved in above the waterline. The extent of damage to the water taxi was unclear. The CG will examine both vessels in more detail Mon. (09-09). In a statement issued Sun. night, the Coast Guard said breathalyzer tests administered to the operators of both vessels were “negative.” But other factors, such as speed and whether each boat had its running lights on, remain under investigation. Weather conditions at the time of the crash were calm. Skies were clear, the wind was 5 kts and seas were flat. Couture, who is assisting the lead CG investigators, said he couldn’t discuss what may have caused the crash while the investigation is ongoing. McCann said he did not know how fast the boats were moving. If anyone is found to be at fault, the CG is the agency that would file charges. Read full story here.
09-08-13 BURLINGTON, ME Greenbush town manager seriously injured in Burlington boat accident Lincoln resident Jerry Davis apparently got caught in his own wake on Upper Cold Stream Pond and it caused him to lose control of his boat, which crashed, ejecting him onto shore, Warden service spokesman Cpl. John MacDonald said Mon. (09-09). Davis, 53, is the town manager for Greenbush and is Lincoln’s former code enforcement officer. Davis was driving his 15-ft. 2006 Bombardier Seadoo at about 2:10 p.m. Sun. (09-08) in an area of the pond called The Little Narrows, and witnesses saw him take a hard turn at a high rate of speed and get caught up in the wake created. “When he did that, it knocked him to the ground in the boat,” he said. “The boat continued on at a high rate of speed and crashed on shore, and the driver was ejected.” The boat hit the shore, and a nurse practitioner helped to render aid to Davis, who was seriously hurt. MacDonald did not have an update on his condition on Mon. Davis was taken by ambulance to Penobscot Valley Hosp. and then a LifeFlight helicopter transported him to Eastern Maine Med. Center in Bangor.Read full story here.
09-06-13 DEALE, MD Md. Man Cited For Negligence After Crashing Boat Police say a Prince George’s Co. man has been injured after crashing his boat into a jetty in Deale. Mitchell told investigators he was navigating his 24-ft. boat in the area of Rockhold Creek when it “bumped into something.” It then crashed into the jetty. Maryland DNR police said that 44-y/o Charles Todd Mitchell is being cited for negligence and other violations after crashing his boat late Sat. night (09-06). Mitchell was taken to Anne Arundel Med. Center with minor injuries. The accident caused extensive damage to the boat, including a hole visible in the hull. Police say alcohol does not appear to be a factor. Read full story here.
09-05-13 FT. MILL, SC Second body recovered after boat capsizes on Fort Mill lake The body of the 2nd fisherman involved in a Fort Mill lake drowning Thur. night (09-05) was recovered Sat. morning (09-07). The man was dead when found in Lake Haigler, located at the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill, said Capt. Robert McCullough, a spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources. The man’s name has not been released by the York Co. Coroner’s Office, but family members Fri. (09-06) told authorities the man was John Wilson, 62, of Rock Hill. On Friday, after the fishing boat overturned just before dark Thur. night, searchers found Joseph Jeter, 67. Although the investigation into how the boat overturned continues, McCullough said it appears to be accidental and there has been so far no determination of any foul play. Dive teams worked Thur. night, then resumed Fri. and again Sat. morning. Someone walking at the Anne Springs Close Greenway near Lake Haiger called 911 after seeing the boat Jeter was in capsize on Thur. night around 7:30. Multiple law enforcement and rescue squads responded, starting a search of the lake immediately. The search stopped temporarily overnight. Police and DNR deployed divers to search for the men in the water and a helicopter flew above to search the surrounding area.Read full story here.
09-07-13 HOBUCKEN, NC Coast Guard rescues injured man from aground boat The USCG rescued a 78-y/o man from an aground 19-ft. boat with 3 people aboard at the mouth of the Neuse River near Hobucken, N.C on Sat. evening (09-07). A crewmember aboard the boat contacted CG Station Hobucken around 9:15 p.m., reporting that one person aboard was had sustained neck and back injuries when their boat ran aground. The CG sent a 25-ft. boat to assist. The rescue team provided first aid and the injured man was transported to CarolinaEast Med. Center in New Bern, N.C.Read full story here.

09-07-13 WAYNE COUNTY, NY Boat sinks in Lyons after hitting piece of bridge The Wayne Co. Sheriff's Office says a 39-ft. sailboat sank in the Erie Canal Sat. morning (09-07) after hitting a section of a bridge. Deputies say that crash was investigated by members of the Marine Patrol unit. They say that 74-y/o Frederick Cooley was steering a sailboat traveling W. on the canal near Lyons when it hit part of the bridge foundation around 9:55 a.m. Cooley told deputies that he was avoiding a piece of debris, when he looked back down the waterway, his view of the section of the foundation was blocked by a passenger. When he finally saw the foundation, he was too close to avoid collision. The crash damaged the hull of the boat and it began taking on water. The driver and passenger were able to escape the boat before it sank. Deputies say they were assisted at the scene by Lyons FD and Canal Authority personnel.Read full story here.

09-08-13 LAKESIDE, CA 2 women hospitalized in boating accident Two women were flown to a hospital following a boating accident at the El Capitan Reservoir Sunday, authorities said. Four people were riding an inner tube and being pulled by a boat at El Capitan Reservoir shortly after 2 p.m. when they were thrown off, according to park rangers. The riders were thrown into several rocks, witnesses said. Two fire engines and two medic units were sent to the scene, and fire officials later requested an additional engine, according to the Lakeside Fire Protection District. Two women were taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, a Heartland Fire & Rescue dispatcher said. They suffered minor to moderate injuries. Read full story here.

09-07-13 CAROLINA BEACH, NC Victim identified in boating accident A Carolina Beach man was identified Mon. (09-09) as the fatal victim of a boating mishap off the coast of Carolina Beach on Sat. (09-07). Rescuers recovered the body of Ronnie Loftis, whose age was not immediately available, after a 2-hr. search of the ocean Sat., said N.C. Wildlife Resources Comm. Officer Fred Gorchess. Loftis and Ronald Savoy, age not available, of Wilmington, were both thrown from the boat while at sea. Savoy was discovered after emerging from the surf just before 3 p.m. at an undeveloped portion of north Carolina Beach called Freeman Park, according to New Hanover Co. dispatch. Savoy told rescuers he swam for 3 hrs. and his friend was still out in the water. Loftis was found unresponsive about 5 p.m., ½ mi. offshore and 3 mi. S. of the Carolina Beach Inlet, according to the USCG. The unmanned boat was found upright and still running about 10 mi. off the coast. Gorchess said the incident is under investigation.Read full story here.

09-08-13 CHARLESTON, SC Crews rescue boater after sailboat hits jetties Crews rescued a boater after a sailboat struck some jetties in Charleston Harbor. Rescue crews responded to reports of a person in the water near the north jetties off Sullivan's Island around 9:10 p.m.  Charleston Co. Rescue Squad PIO Trae Wright said a sailboat hit the jetties, sending one person overboard. A USCG helicopter was called to the scene to assist in the search and the person was rescued. The boat was towed back to shore and the victim was treated for minor injuries. Wright said their crews were assisted by the USCG, Sullivan's Island Fire & Rescue, the N.Charleston FD and the Charleston Co. Sheriff's Office. Read full story here.

09-07-13 CHICAGO, IL Man stranded on Jet Ski rescued A man on a Jet Ski ran out of fuel and became stranded on Lake Michigan before being rescued.  It happened Sat. afternoon (09-07) near the 63rd Street Crib when 2 brothers were out jet skiing. Ricky Martin ran out of fuel but his brother, Jim Martin, didn't know and took off back to shore. When Jim realized his brother wasn't there, he called for help. While the Chicago FD was out looking for him, 2 Good Samaritans came along and towed Ricky Martin back to shore. "We knew he had a problem because we saw the other jet ski pull off and leave him, and it was like 20 min. before we went by, and then he waved to us, let us know he needed help," said George Richardson. "I saw helicopters fly by, and fire trucks coming by, and the ambulance, so yes, quite an ordeal," Ricky Martin said. Martin says he didn't realize the massive search that was on because of him. When authorities realized he had returned safely to shore, the search was called off. Read full story here.

09-08-13 MASSAPEQUA, NY Man Found Swimming to Shore in Massapequa Cove After Jet-Ski Failed; Partially Submerged A 50-y/o man was found swimming to shore in Massapequa Cove after his Jet-Ski encountered mechanical issues and he was unable to return to the dock in Massapequa on Sun. (09-08) at 8:30pm. The man was on his Jet-Ski in the Great South Bay when he had mechanical difficulties. His 47-y/o male friend went to get assistance and when he returned he could not locate the man or the watercraft. Read full story here.

09-07-13 NIAGARA FALLS, NY Sea-Doo rider pulled to safety from Niagara rapids A group of Sea-Doo riders learned their lesson to try and test the waters in Devil's Hole. A Dunnville man was pulled from the Class-five rapids in the lower Niagara River just N. of the whirlpool by his friend on another Sea-Doo after his PWC hit a wave and capsized. "Yeah, it was scary, but I just held onto the Sea-Doo until I got to calm water then I hopped on with my friend," said Geoff, who didn't want to give his last name after being rescued. "We were checking if he was above water the whole time," said his friend Marc, who also didn't want to give his last name. Both the Canadian and USCG responded, as well as a Whirlpool Jet Boat and Niagara-on-the-Lake firefighters. The 4 men could be seen afterwards at the Queenston boat launch. The watercraft was pulled out of the river by a CG vessel and suffered some damage to its hull. The men all claimed to be experienced Sea-Doo riders, but came out with a different perspective of the rapids. "I don't think I will ever experience Devil's Hole ever again," said Marc. The men said they saw no signs telling personal watercraft riders not to enter the area.  Read full story here.

09-08-13 SACRAMENTO, CA American river rafter’s body is recovered The body of a man who drowned in a rafting accident on the American River Sun. (09-08) has been recovered. Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District personnel first conducted a search and rescue mission and then a recovery operation for the man who fell off a raft at the San Juan rapids on the American River in Rancho Cordova. The body was recovered about 6:30 p.m. Sun. Crews were called to the rapids at around 11:20 a.m. Sun. for a water rescue. The man, wearing a life vest, was rafting with his family before he fell off the watercraft. While the life vest resurfaced, the man never did. He has not been identified by the Sacramento Co. Coroner's Dept.Read full story here.

09-06-13 FLATHEAD LAKE, MT Waves swamp eight dragon boats Eight out of 9 dragon boats that were being used for practice swamped or capsized Fri. afternoon (09-06) in the choppy waters of Flathead Lake off Wayfarers State Park, prompting an emergency response to get boaters safely to shore. “They got crossways and swamped. Everybody was wearing lifejackets. They were all fished out of the water and they are all right,” Flathead Co. Sheriff Chuck Curry said. The incident happened at around 3 p.m. and it took about an hr. for several responding boats to get the people to shore. The 46-ft--long, shallow canoes were on the water in preparation for the Montana Dragon Boat Festival Sat. (09-07) and Sun. (09-08) at Flathead Lake Lodge. Each vessel typically carries 20 paddlers, a drummer and a person steering at the stern. Lyle Scott, the ranger at Wayfarers State Park, said the 9 boats on the water had an average of about 15 people on board because full crews weren’t available for practice. Only one boat was paddled back to the Flathead Lake Lodge, where the event will be held, and the remaining 8 had to be towed. The boats encountered frequent 1-2-ft. swells and took on water until they swamped or capsized. A PWC, a fishing boat, some boats from Flathead Lake Lodge and a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks boat were involved in getting the dragon boats and paddlers back to shore. Read full story here.

09-09-13 SIMPSONVILLE, SC Body found in Simpsonville pond after canoe accident Rescuers found a body after a canoe capsized in a Simpsonville pond on Mon. afternoon (09-09), according to Lt. Tim Ridgeway of the Greenville Co. Sheriff's Office. Ridgeway said the incident happened at 2975 Roper Mountain Rd. in Greenville. A large home is being built at the location with a retention pond in the yard. Deputies said the man was cleaning vegetation out of the small pond from a canoe. A co-worker of the victim noticed the boat capsized and called 911. A dive team was brought to the scene and was able to recover the body, according to deputies. They tried to resuscitate him, but they said it was unsuccessful. The victim's name has not yet been released. Read full story here.

09-07-13 WEST LINN, OR Family in canoe rescued at Fields Bridge Park in West Linn Just after 3 p.m. Sat. (09-07), firefighters from the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue water rescue team were successful in bringing a family of 4 safely to shore after their canoe became stuck on a rock in the river at Fields Bridge Park in W.Linn. All 4 family members were wearing PFDs and firefighters were able to perform the rescue quickly and efficiently. No one was injured in the incident. Read full story here.

09-05-13 SOUTHAMPTON, NY Police Say Three Men Pulled Canoe Crew From Tiana Bay The USCG pulled 3 men from Tiana Bay on Thur. morning (09-05) after their canoe tipped and dumped them in the water. The men, ages 26, 32 and 40, were “intoxicated” and fell in at around 8:30 a.m., according to officials at CG Station Shinnecock in Hampton Bays, after one of the men jumped off the canoe, causing it to flip near the shore by W.Tiana Road. The men were not wearing lifejackets and one of them did not know how to swim. The water was 4-6 ft. deep. The CG dispatched a rescue team that was able to pluck the men from the water and return them to shore. The men were examined by emergency medical personnel once they were brought back to land and released. Read full story here.

09-08-13 WOODLAND, WA Scappoose man drowns while fishing in kayak in Columbia River A Scappoose man drowned in the Columbia River Sun. afternoon (09-08-13) when his kayak tipped over while fishing in the Woodland area.  Richard Schlumpberger, 55, was near Austin Point when he became entangled in his anchor line and his kayak flipped upside down. At about 3 p.m., police received a report that Schlumpberger never resurfaced. Police and emergency responders from Cowlitz, Clark and Columbia Counties joined a USCG helicopter in searching for the man. Divers soon found Schlumpberger’s body near the spot where he was last seen. Read full story here.

09-08-13 POINT PLEASANT, NJ 4 Rescued After Boats Become Grounded In NJ Inlet Emergency crews came to the rescue of 4 people who were stranded when 2 boats became grounded on the Manasquan Inlet jetty. The captain of the 32-ft. boat Slashbacks contacted USCG Sector Delaware Bay watchstanders around 11:30 p.m. Sun. (09-08) to report that the boat had lost power while towing a 31-ft. boat, Lady Jane, through the inlet. That caused the towline to part and both boats became grounded on the inlet’s southern jetty. Three people were stranded on the jetty, while another was stuck aboard the Slashbacks. A 47-ft. motor life boat crew from CG Station Manasquan Inlet rescued the person aboard the boat, while Point Pleasant police officers rescued the people from the jetty. None of the 4 were injured. Read full story here.

09-09-13 AT SEA SOUTH OF PUERTO RICO US Coast Guard rescues 4 St. Vincent men adrift on disabled boat for 12 days Four men from St. Vincent & the Grenadines were rescued at sea Mon. (09-09) after drifting for as long as 12 days on a disabled powerboat, the USCG reported. The CG said the 4 men had apparently been traveling in late August from a tiny Grenadines island to the small Caribbean country’s main island of St. Vincent to pick up supplies when the outboard engine died on their 30-ft. boat. Some 12 days later, the CG and a St. Vincent-flagged freighter rescued them in rough waters south of Puerto Rico. They appeared to be in good health and were given blue CG coveralls to wear and a hot meal. “Knowing that the persons onboard the distressed vessel had been adrift for 2 wks., the crew made sure they had clean clothes, blankets and a hot meal,” said Lt. Nolan Cain, commanding officer of the CG cutter Farallon. CG spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said it was not immediately clear how the men survived during their ordeal or what kind of supplies were on the disabled boat. Read full story here.

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