11/19/2013-Palm Beach, FL Boater dies after falling into Lake Okeechobee
A man died Monday night after divers pulled him out of Lake Okeechobee, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, said Teri Barbera, sheriff’s spokeswoman. The man had been boating on the lake and fell from a boat into the water, she said. Rescue units responded shortly after 7:30 p.m. to the boat ramps at the Belle Glade Marina after receiving reports of a possible drowning, said Capt. Albert Borroto, Fire Rescue spokesman. Several boaters told the crews that a fellow boater had gone missing. Three divers jumped into the lake and found the man in the water. He was taken to Lakeside Medical Center in Belle Glade around 8:30 p.m. and was pronounced dead there shortly after 10 p.m. Investigators will determine whether a medical condition caused the man to fall into the lake, Barbera said. Read full story here.
11/18/2013- SCRANTON, PA Harleysville-area man, 23, dies in canoe accident
The body of a 23-year-old Harleysville-area man was recovered from Lake Wallenpaupack in Pike County Sunday afternoon. Benjamin Culton of Upper Salford Township had been in one of two canoes occupied by a total of seven people who set out from Seeley's Landing late Friday night, according a state Fish and Boat Commission spokesman. The canoes capsized, spilling the occupants into the water. Culton presumably drowned, and the six others swam to shore. Two of the survivors were treated for hypothermia, according to authorities. Emergency and rescue personnel searched for Culton Saturday without success. His body was located about 1 p.m. Sunday. The Morning Call newspaper archives show Culton graduated from Faith Christian Academy, Sellersville, in 2008. — The Times (Scranton) Tribune Read full story here.
11/16/2013-ESTERO BAY, FL Coast Guard rescues a man from flipped, sinking boat
Coast Guard crews rescued a boater after his boat flipped in Estero Bay on Friday. According to reports, Coast Guard crews received a distress call at 9 p.m. from a man reporting a flipped boat. The caller told Coast Guard officials, a dinghy was sinking 20 feet from his boat and he heard a low-pitch call for help. Crews arrived on scene at 9:26 p.m. and rescued a man from the water. The man was taken to the station at Fort Myers Beach where they were met by EMS. Read full story here.
11/16/13-Alki Point, Seattle WA Dead man identified in Alki boating accident
The man who died in a capsized boat off Alki Point has been identified by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office as Anthony J. Collins, 40, of Port Orchard. Collins drowned in the Friday afternoon accident, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office. Three of his crewmates suffered hypothermia but survived, according to the Seattle Fire Department. The company for which the men worked, Ballard Marine Construction, said in an email on Friday night that it would not comment on the capsizing. The survivors were taken to Harborview Medical Center. A hospital spokeswoman said Friday evening they were in satisfactory condition with injuries that were not life-threatening. Collins was pulled from the wheelhouse of the vessel by three members of the Seattle Fire Department dive team. Although there was an air pocket, and Collins was wearing a personal-safety device, he was unconscious and unresponsive when pulled from the little cabin and up to the surface at 3 p.m., said a Fire Department spokesman. Read full story here.
11/16/13- New Orleans, LA Coast Guard rescues 5 from sinking vessel in Gulf of Mexico
The Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans helped rescue five people from a sinking fishing vessel in the Gulf of Mexico Friday night (Nov. 15). The vessel, Longshot, began taking water approximately 120 miles south of Mobile, Ala. Rescuers delivered pumps to the vessel, but the crew was unable to pump water out of the boat fast enough, leading to the helicopter evacuation, according to the Coast Guard. "The rough seas we were working against were the worst I have seen," said Lt. Linh Vinh, Air Station New Orleans pilot. According to the Coast Guard, the distressed fishermen were initially transported to an offshore drilling unit, Thunderhorse, where they and the Coast Guard crew rested. The five crew members from the vessel reported no injuries, and were transported Saturday morning (Nov. 16) to a landing pad in Belle Chasse, the Coast Guard said. Vihn credits the success of the operation to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observer on the vessel for activating a locator beacon quickly, and the crew of the fishing vessel for having proper safety equipment, particularly the life vests which were "critical in making the hoisting evolutions safe and efficient." Read full story here.
11/14/2013- HALL COUNTY, GA Man sentenced in deadly Lake Lanier boating collision
A jury in Hall County has found a man not guilty of homicide by vessel in a boating collision that killed two young brothers. Paul Bennett was, however, found guilty on several charges of boating under the influence and reckless conduct when he collided with a pontoon boat on Lake Lanier on June 18, 2012. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison, 18 months probation and 340 hours of community service. Jake and Griffin Prince, ages 9 and 13, died in the crash. Bennett was also found guilty of reckless boating and failing to render aid. Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh cited results of an alcohol breath test taken hours after the collision, which showed a .14, well above the .08 legal limit. Defense attorney Barry Zimmerman said the breath test results on Bennett were questionable because they were taken hours after the crash, and were affected by swings of a Jack Daniels whiskey and coke that the defendant had when he went home. He said Bennett passed all field sobriety tests with the exception of those for which he had physical excuse. "One should not be operating a boat in the condition he was in. Because of the condition he was in, he caused the deaths of these two young boys through this collision," Darragh said. The district attorney also told the jury that Bennett and his girlfriend left then scene because he knew he was intoxicated and that the crash had been fatal. "He does express some sorrow for the loss of children. A fact that he knew before he left that scene. He knew that because the mother of Jake and Griffin called out to him, 'you killed my babies.' I submit to you, that is why he left the scene. This is no legal accident. This is a drunken boating collision caused by Paul Bennett and he should be held responsible," Darragh said. Eleven jurors reached the decision after the 12th juror was removed Thursday for allegedly looking online for details in the case. “You should not consult dictionaries, reference materials, search the Internet websites or blogs,” a Hall county told the remaining jurors in the Paul Bennett case. The judge asked Bennett if he agreed to having 11 jurors decide the case. Bennett said yes. Watch Channel 2 Action News for updates on this story. Read full story here.
11/14/2013- FAYETTEVILLE, Ark
. Arraignment delayed for Oklahoma man charged in boating accident
Arraignment has been delayed until December for a University of Arkansas student charged with two counts of manslaughter in connection with a boating accident in northeast Oklahoma. Officals beside the boat that crashed into a houseboat docked leaving 2 dead at Arrowhead Resort on Grand Lake. Gary Crow/For the Oklahoman John Stuart Deselms, 22, of Tulsa, Okla., was due in court this week in Delaware County but a delay was granted at the request of his attorney. Deselms was charged with first-degree manslaughter in the May 14 deaths of William Lewis "Trey" Varner III of Texarkana and Rachel Nichole Swetnam of Grove, Okla. Prosecutors allege Deselms was operating a boat under the influence of alcohol when it crashed into a houseboat parked on Oklahoma's Grand Lake. According to an affidavit filed by Grand River Dam Authority police, Deselms' blood-alcohol level was 0.18 after the accident, more than double the legal limit. The affidavit said Deselms admitted consuming 10 beers and a shot of tequila between 11:30 a.m. and the time of the accident, 5:42 p.m. The accident occurred in the Duck Creek arm of Grand Lake, about 20 miles from the Arkansas state line. A local newspaper reported Thursday that Deselms' arraignment is set for Dec. 13. He has not yet entered a plea in the case, but issued a statement in September regarding the crash."The effect of this accident on Trey and Rachel's families and friends continues to be devastating to say the least," Deselms said in the statement. "I love them and miss them both dearly, and not a day goes by that I don't think about them." Read full story here.
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