BoatTEST publishes “Accidents of the Week” as a public service for our VIP Subscribers to acquaint them with potential boating dangers and by inference their prevention.
Police Look for Boater From Hit-and-Run Crash on New Hampshire Lake
8/12/23 – Wolfeboro, NH
A boat involved in a hit-and-run crash on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee on the night of 12 August has been located, but its operator was still being sought.
The New Hampshire State Police Marine Patrol said a 50-foot SeaRay boat was found around 11 p.m. crashed on the rocks, after hitting another boat in Winter Harbor. The male operating the boat, registered to an owner from Windham, and several passengers were taken from the crash scene by another boat, a blue 1997 Well Craft registered to an owner from Pelham. Witnesses said the boat was headed towards Tuftonboro, where it was found docked at a residence on the morning of 13 August.
The docked vintage boat that was struck suffered significant damage to its starboard side. State Police did not disclose the identities of any of the operators involved.
Coast Guard Rescues Man Off Coast of Florida’s Marco Island
8/14/23 – Collier Co., FL
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a man off the coast of Florida’s Marco Island after his boat ran into technical difficulties. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, they saved the man and towed his 30-foot boat ashore after his motor and sail were disabled.
The U.S. Coast Guard said that no one was hurt in the incident, but urged residents to always inspect their boats before setting sail.
They stressed the importance of always having a backup plan and of being prepared for any contingencies.
Five Injured in Boat Fire at Massachusetts Marina
8/12/23 – Boston, MA
Five people were injured in a boat fire near the Metropolitan Yacht Club in Braintree, Massachusetts, on the morning of 12 August, according to officials. Braintree police said that quick thinking from a member of the yacht club prevented the fire from worsening.
When the fire began, another patron of the yacht club, a retired police officer, quickly used his boat to pull the watercraft on fire into open water to avoid engulfing nearby vessels, according to the post. The five injured passengers of the boat were taken to an area hospital to be treated for minor burns, smoke inhalation, and cuts, police said.
Sixteen Injured in Boat Explosion on Lake of the Ozarks
8/11/23 – Gravois Mills, MO
Sixteen people were injured in a boat explosion at a marina in the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, authorities said.
The explosion, which took place at the lake’s Millstone Marina, was set off by a spark and gas fumes that “built up in the engine area,” the Missouri State Highway Patrol said in an online post on Friday.
Photos posted online by authorities showed shattered glass on the boat and other damage that appeared to have been caused by the explosion. Most of those injured were on the boat, authorities said.
In an incident information report, the highway patrol said the vessel was fueling at the marina’s gas docks, and when its operator started the boat, it caused “an explosion in the engine compartment.” At least three passengers were ejected from the boat, the report said. The injuries range from minor to moderate, the highway patrol said in its post.
Eleven people, including a 6-year-old girl, were treated on the scene and released, according to the report, while five others were taken to a hospital. An investigation into the incident was ongoing.
Coast Guard Searches for Missing Boater in Florida’s Port Richey
8/13/23 – Port Richey, FL
In a nearly empty parking lot in Port Richey sits one white Dodge truck with a piece of paper on its windshield. That piece of paper is a plea from the police in Port Richey, Florida, and from people like Edmer Merejo, who pray that the owner of the truck, Andre Nolasco, will come back to it soon.
“It’s sad news, man,” said Merejo, one of Nolasco’s friends. Nolasco, 57, has been missing since 13 August, according to the United States Coast Guard. Over the weekend, Merejo got a call from a friend who spoke with Nolasco’s girlfriend saying she hadn’t been able to get ahold of Nolasco since he launched his boat from Nick’s Park in Port Richey. In response, Merejo drove to Nick’s Park and found his friend’s car but did not find Nolasco.
“That’s where everything started,” Merejo said. He explained that he, Nolasco’s friends, family, and law enforcement were searching for Nolasco.
The Coast Guard said that Nolasco had left Nick’s Park in Port Richey on Sunday morning to go out on his boat. When the search for Nolasco began, they eventually found his boat about eight miles off the coast of Hudson, but Nolasco was not inside.
Boat Runs Aground on Lake Austin: 1 Teen Missing, 4 People Hurt
8/13/23 – Austin, TX
A teenager was missing after a boat with seven people aboard ran aground on the evening of 13 August on Lake Austin, Texas, causing a "mass casualty" incident in which four people were injured.
First responders received the call at 6:11 p.m. and discovered the boat almost 35 minutes later near the 10600 block of River Terrace Circle, according to Austin-Travis County EMS. After the injured victims were found, Austin Fire Department personnel took three of them via personal watercraft to an ambulance exchange point.
First responders declare ‘mass casualty’ incident
EMS declared it a Level 5 mass casualty incident. Two people with serious injuries were taken to hospitals immediately, one by EMS and the other by a Travis County STAR Flight helicopter. EMS also transported two patients with potentially serious injuries. Two people refused transport to a hospital, EMS said. First responders switched to recovery mode to try to find the teen who was lost.
Lifeguards Rescue Boaters After Catamaran Breaks in Half
8/12/23 – Volusia Co., FL
On Saturday 12 August, a 24-foot fiberglass catamaran, from which people were jumping into the ocean, broke in half pitching 11 people into the sea, according to the Sheriff's Office in Volusia County, Florida. The incident occurred at 10:53 a.m. in the area of 1655 Atlantic Ave. in Ormond-By-The-Sea.
The boat capsized about 200 yards from the shore, the sheriff's office said. The owner of the boat told deputies that the occupants of the catamaran were jumping off the boat when it broke in half at its center. All those onboard were wearing life jackets.
Volusia County lifeguards used jet skis and paddle boards to successfully bring all 11 occupants to shore. They suffered minor cuts and bruises, according to an incident report. The remains of the boat were brought to shore by lifeguards.
Law Enforcement Investigates Dock Crash on Minnesota Lake
8/11/23 – Crow Wing Co., MN
Authorities investigated an incident in which a boat crashed into a dock and a couple of boats on lifts on Friday 11 August, on Gull Lake in Minnesota’s Crow Wing County.
The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office responded to the crash, which was reported at 11:49 p.m. on the north side of Gull Lake. The sheriff’s office said that the incident was under investigation, and no other information was available as of the afternoon of 15 August.
One Person Hospitalized After Boat Fire Breaks Out in Jacksonville
8/16/23 – Jacksonville, FL
One person was recovering at a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, on the morning of 16 August after a boat fire broke out near Blount Island, in the St Johns River, according to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.
The boat fire occurred in the 5100 block of Heckscher Drive, with the authorities explaining that the boat's mast had hit power lines, which caused the fire.
Fire Breaks Out at Louisiana Boat Dock
8/16/23 – St Tammany Parish, LA
Crews spent more than 12 hours on the scene of a boat dock fire in Covington, Louisiana, to make sure the flames didn't spread or reignite. The fire destroyed at least 16 boats off Ox Bow Lane in the town’s River Club neighborhood. Firefighters were called to the scene around 4:45 a.m. on 16 August.
"When we arrived, we found an 18-slip marina fully involved in fire, including multiple boats on fire also," said St. Tammany Fire's Joey Sanders.
Shani Booth, who lives in the closest house to the dock, woke up to the frightening sight. Her husband dialed 911. "I've never been that close to a fire like that before. It looked like what you saw on TV, like forest fires. It was through the trees we were looking at. You can hear the cracking and the breaking, and the fire noises. We couldn't tell all what was on fire, you just saw fire everywhere," Booth said.
No injuries were reported and no homes were damaged. After reports that neighbors had seen lightning in the area, officials were looking into the possibility that weather had played a role in igniting the fire.
Coast Guard Rescues 4 From Swamped Boat
8/16/23 – Hernando Co., FL
Four people were rescued from a swamped boat about a mile off Hernando Beach, Florida, at around 9:15 p.m. on 16 August.
The Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater was alerted by emergency dispatchers of multiple flares being sighted and of four people aboard a boat.
The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew located the distressed boat and hoisted two of the boaters into the helicopter, before transporting them to EMS. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission crews brought the other two people to shore. The boat was recovered on 17 August. All four people were reported to be in good condition.