Boating Accident News 10/23/2013

By Kristy Moore posted 10-23-2013 12:03 PM

2 men safe 15 hours after boat capsizes off Massachusetts 10-18-13 Salem, MA Prayers, scripture verses and gospel songs helped two men survive a harrowing 15-hour ordeal of waves and winds until they were rescued by a passing fishing boat after their boat capsized in the chilly waters off the Massachusetts coast, one of the men said Sunday. The New Hampshire men spent Friday night sitting on a plank over two hulls of 25-foot trimaran as waves left them soaked and cold. George Reynolds told The Associated Press he and Fred Schaeffer prayed for strength - and calm seas and winds - as their muscles cramped and they violently shivered as they tried to stay warm. Reynolds, 62, and Schaeffer, of Raymond, who's in his late 40s, put Reynolds' boat, the "Ark Angel," in the water in Salem, Mass., on Friday with plans to sail to Boston. But with winds blowing hard and the boat flying along at more than 25 knots, they decided part-way through the trip that it would be safer to turn back toward Salem. A strong gust of wind flipped the boat over between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., a couple of miles from the mainland and more than a mile from the nearest island. Schaeffer's cellphone wouldn't work after it got wet. Reynolds took off his life vest and tried waving it to get the attention of a far-away fishing boat, but the wind blew it out of his hands into the water. So he and his best friend put a plank across the hull and hunkered down, back-to-back to give each other warmth and support. Through the night, with the air temperature dropping into the 40s and water temperatures at 58 degrees, the water lapped onto their plank and on occasion crashed over them. Sometime after 7 a.m., they got the attention of a passing fishing boat named "Fishy Business," which rescued them and brought them to shore in Salem. There, they were checked over by emergency medical technicians before they drove home, shaken up but unharmed. Salem Harbormaster Bill McHugh told WCVB-TV the two men were in remarkably good shape when they were rescued, considering the low temperatures they experienced. McHugh did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press. Read full story here.  

Coast Guard Investigating Weekend Boat Fire 10-19-13 Portsmouth, RI
The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating a fire onboard a 38-foot vessel this past Saturday near the entrance to the Sakonnet River, reports The Portsmouth Times.  According to The Portsmouth Times, a good Samaritan rescued a man after his 38-foot boat named Black Jack caught fire <>  Saturday afternoon along the Sakonnet River. The man was uninjured. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. The incident remains under investigation.  Several emergency crews responded to the boat fire, including the Portsmouth and Middletown fire departments. Read full story here.  

Search suspended for possible missing kayaker off Nahant; empty boat found shortly after 8 a.m. 10-21-13 Nahant, MA A search for a possible missing kayaker off Nahant, ordered this morning after an empty kayak was found in the water, has been suspended, and the kayaker has yet to be found. The Coast Guard sent a boat and a helicopter, and the state Environmental Police and Nahant police launched boats, said Petty Officer Ross Ruddell, a Coast Guard spokesman. The search began after an abandoned kayak was found off Nahant at about 8:09 a.m., Ruddell said. The search was suspended at roughly 12:50 p.m., Ruddell said. He said the boat was found near Lodge Park and Swallows Cove. "Pending further developments, this will be the last active search we have," Ruddell said.Read full story here.  

Moline: Sail Boat Stuck On Mississippi River In Snow 10-22-13 Moline, IA
The Moline Fire Department was called to rescue two people stranded on the Mississippi River on Tuesday morning, October 22, 2013. Officials say their sail boat got stuck when it ran into a lateral dam. According to officials, the boaters left LeClaire, Iowa in the morning, continuing their voyage to sail the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. They say conditions were foggy which caused limited visibility. Snow was also falling Tuesday morning. Officials say they rescued the boaters and left the boat on the dam. They say the boat will be dealt with later.
Read full story here.  

6 Duck hunters thrown into lake when boat capsizes10-20-13 Zimmerman, MN
Six metro duck hunters survived a close call Sunday when their boat capsized, tossing them into the waters of a frigid lake. Sherburne County deputies and Zimmerman fire crews responded to Ann Lake around 6:30 p.m. on reports of a capsized boat and people in the water. Commander Steve Doran says Zimmerman firefighters launched a rescue boat and helped a number of the duck hunters to the scene. Paramedics examined them at the scene; some showed reported signs of hypothermia, but none had to be transported to the hospital. Witnesses told KARE 11 that the boat was overloaded, but Commander Doran says the case is still under investigation. Read full story here.

Wayne Newton's yacht sinks at Lake Mead A 65-foot luxury houseboat belonging to Wayne Newton filled with water and sank Friday morning at a marina on the Arizona side of Lake Mead. No one was on board the boat named Rendezvous when it went down stern-first in about 45 feet of water, leaving the bow sticking straight up out of the water in a covered slip at Temple Bar Marina. A salvage crew is expected to raise the yacht later this week. Investigators will try to determine what went wrong. Christie Vanover, spokeswoman for Lake Mead National Recreation Area, said preliminary indications point to "equipment failure" but the National Park Service will also check the boat for signs of "foul play." Vanover said a marina employee noticed something wrong with the boat at about 9 a.m. Friday. It sank 20 minutes later. No one was injured in the incident. On Monday Newton's sister-in-law and publicist, Tricia McCrone, said the longtime Las Vegas entertainer and his wife, Kathleen, are on vacation in Bora Bora but "he wants to find out what happened, obviously." McCrone said the boat was in "pristine condition" and had been "impeccably decorated by Mrs. Newton." Newton bought the 60-ton yacht - a 1996 Skipperliner, with four levels, a 10-foot swimming platform and multiple berths - five or six years ago. He used to go out on it every weekend in the summer, she said. So far, Vanover said, there no signs of fuel or other contaminants leaking from the sunken yacht. She said the vessel has been on Lake Mead for years. It was previously kept in a covered slip at the northern tip of Lake Mead until 2006, when the Overton Beach Marina was forced to move to deeper water. About half of that marina's docks and slips ended up at Temple Bar, the other half at Callville Bay Marina. Vanover couldn't remember the last time such a large boat sank in Lake Mead. "It's infrequent," she said. Read full story here.

Fishing boat strikes Harwich Port jetty; one injured 10-19-13 Cape Cod, MA
Harbor officials and the Coast Guard worked Saturday morning to remove a 35-foot tuna-fishing boat off a jetty outside Wychmere and Saquatucket harbors, after the vessel left the harbor just before midnight, according to Harbormaster John Rendon. Rescuers were called after 11:30 p.m. Friday to an area off Snow Inn Road, where the boat hit the jetty with three people on board, fire Capt. Joseph Mayo said Saturday. One passenger, a man, fell off the boat after it hit the jetty and was injured, Mayo said. That person was taken to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis. The boat was a Duffy recreational power boat, rigged for tuna fishing, Rendon said. Work to remove the boat started around 9 a.m., as harbor officials worked to get the fuel out of the boat and then get it off the jetty. By about 12:30 p.m., the boat had been removed, Mayo said. The Coast Guard is investigating the case, Rendon said. Read full story here.  

No injuries reported in boat fire at Mandeville marina 10-18-13 Mandeville, LA
No injuries were reported in a Friday morning boat fire at the Cypress Cove Marina in Mandeville, according to a spokesman for St. Tammany Parish Fire District No. 4. A boat that caught fire in the marina at 900 Villere Street at around 6:30 a.m. was severely damaged, spokesman Jason Kaufmann said. Two other boats were damaged from the heat, he said. The cause of the fire is undetermined, Kaufmann said. The boat was severely burned and had started to sink by the time the flames were out, so investigators could not get on the boat, he said. No one was on the boat when the fire broke out, he said. Read full story here.  

PR man stranded Lake Lida 10/20/13 Pelican Rapids, ND A Pelican Rapids man was cited after his jet ski stalled on Lake Lida Sunday night, according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office. The 49-year-old man was on a jet ski just after 7 p.m. that stalled on the lake. He drifted with the wind and was able to reach the shore. He showed minor signs of hypothermia but refused medical treatment. He was cited for operating the jet ski after hours. Pelican Ambulance, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Pelican Rapids Police Department also responded to the scene.Read full story here.  

Coast Guard rescues 2 from yacht 10-20-13 Islamorada, FL The Coast Guard rescued two uninjured people from a life raft Sunday after a yacht reportedly sank about six miles south of Islamorada. The two people, it was unclear Monday if it was two men or a man and a woman, boarded a life raft and were able to call 911 with a cellphone about 1:50 a.m., said Coast Guard spokesman Ensign Max Franco. Monroe County dispatchers routed the call to Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders, who launched a response boat from Station Islamorada. Where the two rescued people live was not known, Franco said. The two people were in a 50-foot Hatteras that sank before Coast Guard crews could attempt to keep it afloat, Franco said. Rescue crews were able to find the raft quickly as the pair launched three flares and were waving flashlights, Franco said. "Everyone was OK and they didn't need medical treatment," Franco said. It was not clear what caused the boat to sink, but it was recoverable and will have to be commercially salvaged, Franco said. There was no dangerous weather in the area reported by the National Weather Service, said meteorologist Jon Rizzo. "There were some isolated showers and thunderstorms, but everything was well south and west of that area," Rizzo said. "All precipitation we were watching was between Sand and Sombrero Keys, but nothing farther up. Wind was pretty light." Read full story here.  

Apparent drowning victim was once honored for saving man's life 10-20-13 Racine, WI Authorities identified the man found dead at the Reefpoint Marina late Sunday night as 58-year-old Richard J. Franzese of Hoffman Estates, Ill. - the same man who was once honored by the City of Racine for saving the life of a man drowning in the Root River. In a press statement, the Racine County Sheriff's Office said the death was believed to be an accidental drowning, but said that the case is still under investigation. Franzese was a friendly and dependable person who was willing to share what he had, wherever he was with whomever was around, according to his brother, Bill Franzese, 51, from Lindenhurst, Ill. Bill Franzese said that his brother's passion was boating, and that he took every chance he got to take his boat out on Racine's waters. "He spent every weekend up on that boat," he said. "That was the love of his life." Bill Franzese said that his brother was packing up his boat for the winter when the incident occurred. According to a press release, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a missing person at 8 p.m. Sunday, and located Franzese in the water less than an hour later. "This is an unfortunate and terrible tragedy," Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said in an email. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Franzese family."Read full story here.  

Baptist CFO Vermillion's death likely a drowning 10-18-13 Portofino, FL
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials are awaiting an autopsy report on what caused Baptist Health Care executive Kerry Vermillion's death last week in Santa Rosa Sound. Vermillion, 47, BHC's chief financial officer, was reported missing around 6 p.m. Friday. Vermillion and his friends, David Wildebrandt, Maria Halpin and Lea McLoughlin, all BHC employees, were on his 26-foot Chapparal cabin cruiser, according to authorities. The incident occurred about a quarter mile offshore and north of the Portofino condominiums. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Stan Kirkland said Vermillion and the other three occupants were swimming in the water at the same time. The group remained in the 75-degree water less than five minutes and returned to the vessel, Kirkland said Monday evening. "The other three people got back on the vessel and believed that Mr. Vermillion was already on board," Kirkland said. When Vermillion's friends did not see him on board, they checked the vessel's cabin below. At that point they re-entered the water and began a frantic search of the immediate area, Kirkland said. FWC Lt. Doug Berryman said Halpin called 911 shortly after 6 p.m. Friday and reported Vermillion missing. Escambia County emergency dispatchers contacted the U.S. Coast Guard and FWC shortly thereafter, both of which dispatched search boats. Read full story here.

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