Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Clinging to Coolers and Trees

These are perhaps the three most outrageous boating incidents from Labor Day Weekend 2010, and there are some obvious safety lessons that can be taken away from all of these stories.

Clinging to a Cooler
Early Sunday morning, seven people (including 3 children) were found clinging to a cooler – 30 miles off the shore of South Carolina – 20 hours after their 38-foot fishing boat sank. All seven were wearing life jackets. However, a CNN article quotes a Coast Guard officer as saying, "They didn't have a VHF radio. They didn't have an emergency position indicating radio beacon ... that can pinpoint the location of a distress when a boat sinks. There was no signaling flares, nothing." Conflictingly, a local newspaper reports that the Coast Guard did in fact receive a radio signal around the time that the boat capsized stating, "Mayday. We're going down".

More Cooler-Clinging
The Detroit News reports that a 46-year-old man was rescued after spending four hours in Lake Huron on Monday morning, clinging to a cooler. The man – who had no life jacket - went into the lake after the 22-foot fishing boat he was on capsized. Another passenger on the sunken boat swam about 3 miles to shore.

Photo: League City PD
Boat in the Trees
The 82-year-old operator of a 23-foot sports boat lost control and hit the bank of a creek near Galveston Bay in Texas on Sunday morning, according to the Houston Chronicle. He must have been going pretty fast and hit an angle that previously only action movie directors thought was possible, as the boat crash-landed more than 100 feet in the woods. Tragically, a female passenger was killed, and the operator and another passenger – a 9-year-old boy – were both injured.

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