Boating Accident News 2/26/2014

By Kristy Moore posted 02-26-2014 11:05 AM


2-18-2014 - Talladega County, AL Speed may have been factor in Coosa River boat accident Read full story here.
The search resumed Wednesday for a missing boater on the Coosa River. The boater, Steve Tripp, is a father of four from Chelsea who owns Revolution Performance Marine in Harpersville. Captain Michael Patrick of the Alabama Marine Police said Tripp was test driving a power speed boat on Tuesday. "We know that he had reached 142 [mph] yesterday morning and came back yesterday afternoon to try and increase that to over 150," Patrick said. Patrick said Tripp was experienced at driving the powerful boats and competed in races across the country. Patrick said speed may have contributed to the accident.  "A boat at that speed is basically flying on the water. Literally flying on the water. If it gets air under it, it can flip," Patrick explained. Search teams cruised up and down the Coosa River looking for Tripp's body on Wednesday. Patrick said the search has been hampered in part because they can't pinpoint the exact area of the accident. When the boat started to break up, it could have covered a couple of football fields.  A passenger who was with Tripp survived the crash and was treated at UAB Hospital for his injuries. Neither man was wearing a safety vest. Captain Patrick said that was critical.  "[For] the professionals that make a living on the water, right down to the recreational boater, that personal floatation device is a must," Patrick said. Patrick said the Alabama Power Company is prepared to stop dumping water into the river which increases the current to help with the search. The marine police captain said the search will continue until Tripp is found. If the search is called off Wednesday, it will resume Thursday morning at daybreak.

2-23-14 – Ohatchee, AL Two brothers drown in Coosa River after canoe overturns Read full story here.
An early morning fishing trip turned tragic when two brothers died after their canoe overturned this morning. Calhoun County Coroner Pat Brown said the incident happened sometime around 1 a.m. near Robins Mill Road in Ohatchee.  Xao Le, 44, and Cong Le, 28, his brother, both of Jacksonville, were fishing with nets when their canoe overturned. A cousin was standing on a nearby bank watching and saw the accident. While the two brothers held onto the canoe, he ran for help. Brown said the cousin ran to nearby houses trying to get help, but had difficulty making himself understood. While the cousin was gone, one of the brothers became entangled in a net. By the time help did arrive, both of the men had gone under. Neither was wearing a life vest.  Rescue crews found Xao's body about 2 a.m. Cong was recovered about 7 a.m. Brown said both died of drowning, though hypothermia was probably a contributing factor. "They both knew how to swim," Brown said. "They drowned less than 50 feet from shore in water that was about 8 or 9 feet deep. But at the temperature the water was that early in the morning, the muscles can constrict very quickly."

2-17-14 – Los Angeles, CA Two saved in multi-agency search Read full story here.  
A multi-agency response lead to the rescue of two men after their boat capsized outside Marina Del Rey Harbor, Feb. 17, 2014. Search and rescue watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach received two reports of red distress flares near Marina Del Rey Harbor from a Good Samaritan and a sailing vessel returning to Marina Del Rey from Catalina Island at approximately 6 p.m. Using the information provided by the Good Samaritans, such as elevation of the flare and angle of observation, watchstanders determined a likely location of origin and then issued an urgent marine information broadcast to which Marina Del Rey Harbor Patrol and Bay Watch responded. Within 20 minutes rescuers were on scene and found two men clinging to a swamped 12-foot boat.  Both men were recovered with no injuries.  They confirmed that they had fired the distress flares after they both stood on one side of the boat at the same time while setting lobster traps, causing the boat to capsize.  Even though they were able to right the boat, there was too much water inside and with darkness becoming a factor, they decided to shoot the flares. “Having the right safety equipment aboard your boat will drastically decrease the time it takes to get help to you and also increase your chances of survival,” said Lt. Michael Turanitza.  “These boaters did the right thing without a doubt.  If they hadn’t been prepared, it’s very safe to say that they could have been clinging to that swamped boat for many hours before anyone realized they were missing. Not all lives are lost hundreds of miles offshore – sometimes it can happen right outside the harbor.”

2-20-14 – Seminole County, FL Divers find body of boater after vessel capsized in Lake Jessup Read full story here.
Edward Brown sat on the hull of his capsized vessel hollering for help for more than an hour.  The front was split and the rear of the boat dipped low into the murky waters of Lake Jessup, where his companion had disappeared at about 11 a.m. Thursday when the accident occurred. His body was recovered later in the day.  Mariners Lonnie May and Robert Finn, who rescued Brown, said his leg was sliced down to the bone, but the wounded man said little about what had happened.  “We didn't know what was going on,” said Finn, 87, of Orlando. “He was screaming for help.”  Seminole County fire and sheriff's officials received the 911 call about 12:35 p.m. — more than an hour and a half after Brown and the missing man, whose name was not released, were thrown into the alligator-infested lake in an apparent boat crash near the State Road 417 bridge.  “I don't know how that could've happened,” said May, shaking his head. Brown, he said, told him they struck one of the pilings of the bridge. “I just don't see it.”  Brown, described as being in his 60s, was taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital where he was in treated and released, said.  Brown, who owned the boat, said his fellow boater went under right away.  Divers from Seminole County, as well as the Casselberry and Sanford fire departments, searched the area.  Sonar also was used across a large area as helicopters hovered above.  Authorities called off their search after an hour later and transitioned to recovering the body of the missing man.  The victim was pulled from the lake late Thursday after radar spotted something in the water, said Greg Workman, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

2-19-14 – Islamorada, FL Man injured when he falls onto boat's propeller Read full story here. 
Fish and wildlife officers say a man is in critical condition after he fell onto a propeller as he tried to move a boat that had run aground in the Florida Keys.  The incident happened Wednesday near Bud-n-Mary's Marina in Islamorada.  Passengers told officers from Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission their vessel ran around on the flats near the marina. They were stuck two hours before a boater stopped to help. But they soon got stuck on another flat.   Investigator Racquel Daniels says 37-year-old Robert Daigle of Fort Pierce jumped in to push the boat off the flat. Daigle fell onto the propeller as he pushed from the stern with the motor running.  He suffered cuts on his arm and shoulder. He airlifted to Miami where he had surgery. 

2-19-14 –Miami, FL Coast Guard crews search for missing kayaker Read full story here.
Coast Guard crews, and partner agencies are searching for a missing kayaker in the vicinity of Oleta River State Park, Fla., Thursday.  Missing is, Vivian Ellis, a 31-year-old male who resides in Miramar, Fla. Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector Miami received a report from the Blue Moon Rental Center, a kayak rental facility in Oleta River State Park of a missing kayaker at approximately 8 p.m. Wednesday. Ellis rented a kayak at approximately 2 p.m. Wednesday and was scheduled to return the kayak before sunset, but never returned. Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Miami Beach, Fla, boatcrews were launched to search the area. A rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami launched to search over the mangroves and Intracoastal Waterway. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission along with Oleta River State Park Rangers searched the park Wednesday with negative results of finding Ellis.

2-19-14 – Miami, FL Coast Guard aircrew medevacs ailing man from motor yacht Read full story here.  A Coast Guard helicopter crew medically evacuated a 63-year-old man who was suffering from health issues while aboard the motor yacht Marlonna 20 miles west of Bimini, Bahamas Wednesday. At approximately 7:30 p.m. watch standers at Coast Guard Seventh District command center received notification from the motor yacht Marlonna of the 63-year-old man who reported experiencing stroke symptoms. After discussing the man’s condition with the Coast Guard’s on-duty flight surgeon, it was determined that a medevac was needed immediately. An aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami launched, arrived on scene and hoisted the man off of the motor yacht. The man was later transferred to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami where his condition was listed as stable. 

2-22-14 – St. Louis, MO One man hospitalized as canoe capsizes in Mississippi River Read full story here.  Police said two men were inside a canoe when it capsized in the Mississippi River Saturday afternoon. Fire officials said the men were canoeing near the Chain of Rocks Water Treatment Plant when the accident happened. They said both men were in the water for about 20 minutes. Authorities said both men displayed signs of hypothermia. One was transported to the hospital and is listed in stable condition. The second man refused treatment. 

2-20-14 – Wildwood, NJ Wildwood firefighters douse boat fire this morning Read full story here City firefighters spent two hours Thursday morning extinguishing a boat fire at 504 Rio Grande Avenue.  Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Speigel said fire crews were called at 3:01 a.m. to the scene of the fire, a 35 foot ocean yacht docked next to the Boat House restaurant.  Speigel said firefighters encountered smoke coming from the boat and as they began working to douse the fire they also searched for any occupants.  The vessel was unoccupied at the time of the incident, Speigel said.  The fire appears to be accidental, but remains under investigation by the Cape May County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Fire Department.

2-21-14 - Farmington, NM Sunken boat rescued from Four Corners lake Read full story here. Today, instead of rescuing people, the Farmington Fire Department had a boat to save from the briny depths.  “This was a unique situation,” Said Battalion Chief, Nick Mrzlak. Farmington firefighters made their way to the boat, which was still tied to a pillar since yesterday.  The large concrete pillar was where city crews were working on water valves for the reservoir when something went wrong.  “Some of the water swamped the boat, ended up sinking the boat and three employees from OMI ended up stranded on the water intake about 300 feet out in the middle of the lake,” according to Mrzlak.  Firefighters got to those stranded city workers yesterday, Today it was the boat's turn.  “We were able to take members of the fire department tactical rescue team, attach air bags to the boat and bring it to the surface enough that we could float it to shore and do a maneuver called a parbuckle,” Mrzlak said.  A parbuckle is just a fancy way to say they flipped the boat over. Then they pumped and bailed out water.  Mrzlak said, “It’s definitely an opportunity to do some practice in a non-emergency situation so there is no hurry and it gives us a chance to get some time on the water.”  And how is the boat? For the most part ok, just a little waterlogged.

2-23-14 – Northampton, MA Capsized boat leaks fuel at Oxbow marina Read full story hereFirefighters tended to a houseboat that apparently capsized and leaked an undetermined amount of gasoline into the waters of the Oxbow Marina Sunday evening. Northampton Deputy Fire Chief Stephen Vanasse said a caller reported seeing the boat overturned at the marina about 7:10 p.m. The caller was reportedly traveling on I-91 and spotted the boat from there. The boat was unoccupied and had been stored at the marina for some time, Vanasse said. Five firefighters deployed absorbent tubes from one of the marina’s docks to recover the spilled fuel, Vanasse said. Vanasse said there wasn’t any way to tell if the leaked fuel came from the boat’s own fuel tank or from extra fuel stores on board, only that there was a “very strong smell” of gasoline in the area. Vanasse said the department was unable to reach the owners of the boat Sunday night. The incident remains under investigation.

2-20-14 - Lake Mead, NV Man found at Lake Mead identified Read full story here.  Two boaters are missing at Lake Mead after their boat capsized sometime on Thursday, according to the National Park Service. Three Las Vegas men were on a multi-day boating trip and failed to call family Thursday night. Crews began searching for the men at daybreak on Friday, locating the capsized boat at Echo Bay. One of the men was located by air about 2:30 p.m., about a half mile north of the vessel. He was unresponsive when located. He was later declared deceased. The Clark County Coroner's Office has identified the man found as 48-year-old Oscar Dixon Jr. from North Las Vegas. Dixon's manner of death has not been released. "Our team will continue to search. If we believe that there is a chance that we can rescue these individuals, we're going to continue the search," said National Park Service public affairs officer Christie Vanover. The search team consists of three National Park Service vessels with nine rangers, one Nevada Department of Wildlife boat with three wardens, as well as a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department air team and dive rescue team.

2-19-14 – Smithville, TN Smithville Boating Accident Believed to Have Claimed Two Lives Read full story here. DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray says his department is investigating what appears to be a boating accident. A fisherman called the Sheriff's Department after finding a body Wednesday afternoon. During the investigation, Sheriff Ray stated the bodies of a male and female were found. It is believed they were fishing around the Holmes Creek Boat Ramp off Holmes Creek Road in Smithville.

2-21-14 – Portland, OR Kayaker found dead near Sauvie Island Read full story here. A man was found dead Friday night and another man was hospitalized after their kayak overturned Friday afternoon in McNary Lake off the Multnomah Channel near Sauvie Island. The body of Dim Dy, 41, of SE Portland was found about 10 p.m. Friday night about 50 feet from where he went in the water.  A second man was taken to the hospital earlier Friday in serious condition with hypothermia.  The men capsized in a single kayak close to the Gilbert River Boat Ramp at around 2:30 p.m. The men tried to swim to shore, but only one man made it.  Rescue teams from Columbia County and dive teams from Multnomah County searched for the missing man.  Neither man was reportedly wearing a life jacket. Authorities said the men were drinking alcohol.

2-23-14 – Miami Beach, FL Fire destroys sailboat off Miami Beach, kills dog Read full story hereA 32-foot sailboat anchored near Monument Island in Miami Beach caught fire early Sunday morning, destroying the boat and killing a dog on-board.  Miami Fire Rescue received a call just before 7:30 a.m. Sunday reporting that a boat in the waters off 14th Street and Bay Road was in flames. As rescue fire boat was sent to the scene to fight the fire, said spokesman Lt. Ignatius Carroll.  “You could see that it was a pretty significant fire from a distance,” he said.   The fire was visible to motorists and residents along the waterfront.  The unidentified owner of the boat told the crew he had gone on a friend’s boat about 10 minutes prior and when he looked back at his own boat, he saw the smoke.  He said his two dogs were on board; one was able to get one off the boat before the smoke got too thick.  Carroll said crews worked for about 40-minutes to extinguish the boat fire and later found the other dog, lifeless inside.  Investigators are now looking into what caused the blaze.

2-21-14 - La Conner, WA Fire destroys several boats in La Conner Read full story here. At least ten boats were destroyed or damaged after a fast moving fire burned at a marina in the small town of La Conner Friday afternoon.  A dock full of yachts caught fire at the Shelter Bay Marina just after 4:00 p.m. says Kevin Noyes, Skagit County Deputy Fire Marshal.  More than ten fire agencies raced to the scene. "The heat just expands out and starts melting the fiberglass and everything around it and it's a domino effect," says Noyes.  Witnesses said the fire started on one boat and spread thought the dock, completely destroying 7 boats with another 3 to 5 damaged.  The flames spread from boat to boat, which were 40 ft. fiberglass yachts.  There were no injuries and the cause of the fire is unknown at this time.  Crews will start planning how to dive and salvage the boats that have sunk Saturday.

2-23-14 – Hillsboro Inlet, FL Boat sinks after catching fire at sea; 3 rescued Read full story hereThree passengers were rescued by good Samaritans when their 46-foot sportfishing boat caught fire in the Atlantic on Sunday morning about six miles east of Hillsboro Inlet.  The Sea Lion was not so lucky.   The boat sank in deep ocean waters more than an hour after the 8:45 a.m. distress call came in to the U.S. Coast Guard, said Capt. John See of Sea Tow in Fort Lauderdale.  All three passengers, two men and a boy, had already boarded another boat by the time Sea Tow and the Coast Guard arrived on scene, said Petty Officer Sabrina Laberdesque.  "We were on scene in case people needed medical assistance," she said. "But no one did. The people were already off the boat."  The names of the rescued passengers were not available late Sunday.

2-24-14 – Volusia County, FL Drunken boater dies after falling into Halifax River Read full story here.  A 59-year-old intoxicated boater died Monday night after falling into the Halifax River in Volusia County, the Sheriff's Office said today.  Gregory Beard consumed several mixed drinks with another boater at the Adventure Yacht Harbor Marina in Wilbur-by-Sea before he fell into the water and drowned.  Beard was leaving his friend's boat and trying to get into his own boat when he fell before 10 p.m.  The other boater tried to help Beard after hearing a splash.  "The man said he was able to reach into the water and grab Beard's hand in an effort to guide him to a float behind the victim's boat, but he said Beard was too drunk to swim to it," Gary Davidson, a spokesman for the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, said in a report.  "He said he eventually lost physical contact with Beard and tried to use a pole to hold him out of the water, but that didn't work either."  Beard was face down in the water and dead when deputies arrived.  "Responding paramedics with the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety pronounced Beard dead at 9:58 p.m.," Davidson said.  There were no signs of foul play. The Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.  

2-23-14 – Gainesville, VA 80-year-old Virginia Man rescued from icy lake by police helicopter after canoe flips Read full story here. A Virginia man had to be rescued by a police helicopter after venturing out onto an icy lake to rescue his two dogs that had become trapped, according to WTTG.  Police told WTTG the rescue took place around 3:20 p.m. Sunday at Lake Manassas. William Blackwell, 80, reportedly went out into the icy waters in a canoe after his two dogs became stuck in the ice while chasing geese.  When Blackwell attempted to rescue one of the dogs, his canoe tipped over sending him in.  Two pilots and two rescue technicians aboard a police helicopter responded to the scene. Upon securing Blackwell and taking him to safety, the helicopter returned to rescue the two dogs.  Blackwell was in the water for about an hour, and his body temperature was about 80 degrees when he arrived at the hospital, according to WTTG.

2-23-14 – Portland, OR Two men safe after canoe flips in Sandy river Read full story here.  Two men hunting geese are safe after their canoe tipped over in the Sandy River near the Interstate 84 overpass Sunday morning, deputies said.  Around 11 a.m., the men hit a log floating in the river. One of the men traveled a mile and a half down the river before grabbing onto to debris. The Gresham Fire Department's river rescue team scrambled to the scene and pulled him from the water.  The other man made it safely to shore. Both men were wearing life jackets.  Area waterways are running high and fast, and rivers like the Sandy are filled with debris from recent storms.  Sunday's rescue comes two days after a kayaker drowned after falling in McNary Lake off the Multnomah Channel near Sauvie Island. He was not wearing a life jacket. 

2-23-14 – Grove City, OH Kayakers Rescued from Water Near Grove City Read full story here. Seven kayakers had to be rescued from Big Darby Creek near Trapper John's Canoe Livery in Grove City Saturday afternoon. One person was taken to Doctors West in an unknown condition. The other six kayakers refused treatment at the scene. 

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