Kids hurt on towable

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RobnBern, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. RobnBern

    RobnBern Member

    195
    Jan 24, 2010
    Upper Potomac River
    1995 370DA
    7.4L Bluewater
    Good morning all,

    Yesterday we learned that a couple of neighborhood girls were seriously injured in an accident when the boat operator "failed to see" the dock and snapped the towable with the 10 and 12 year old girls, slamming them into the dock. Our daughters friend was the most seriously injured: femur fracture, skull fracture and flail segment in her chest. She had to be flown to a trauma center. The other little girl fractured her pelvis.

    I'm trying to find the local news in the area where the accident happened, the girls were on a trip with friends. The take away here is that as operators we must understand the dynamics associated with water sports and power boats. A simple snap turn 60' from the dock isn't really wise but when you've got a 70' tail carrying two people, it's absolutely unforgivable. We've all got a close call story in our closets, where we did something entirely stupid but escaped harm. But, we need to remember the awesome responsibility we have to ensure the safety of our passengers and others. They trust us with their lives and often don't even realize it.

    Which brings me to another point. Do you know who your loved ones are "heading to the river" with?? So often today's parents just let their kids go boating with the assumption that the family/operator knows what they are doing. A few weeks back, my daughter wanted her girlfriends (sisters) to come to the river with us. The parents didn't know us and said no. So, we called and talked to them, got them to talk about their concern and they ended up "interviewing us". Did it feel strange? At first. But, we were taking their two daughters 50 miles from home to go boating and jet skiing. They had no idea who we were, what our knowledge base was, nothing.... Good on them.

    So, as operators let us remain vigilant in our safe operations of our vessels and ensure that when we depart the dock with 7 souls on board, we return with the same number. Boating is for making lifetime happy memories (except for our bank accounts).

    If I can find the article, I'll update. Be safe everyone. As the summer draws to a close, there will be a ton of irresponsible operators who think a few weeks of ownership makes them "veteran" skippers.

    R
     
  2. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Sep 15, 2009
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    97 270DA 5k Kohler A/C,
    85 Monaco 197
    7.4 300hp BII,
    260hp Alpha 1
    Well said...

    MM
     
  3. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    When my daughter was young (teens) I wouldn't let her go to someone's house if I didn't know the parents, unless I talked with them first on the phone. Same would have applied to going out on a boat.
     
  4. MarkNewbie

    MarkNewbie New Member

    165
    Apr 27, 2010
    Indiana
    340 Sundancer 2006, All the goodies.
    Twins. 8.1 V-Drives
    One of the reasons that you will never see me drink when taking the boat out. Today, I drank coffee until about 2:00 when I switched to good old lemonade. Too many boaters throw caution and common sense to the wind when they get out on the lake.

    My prayers go out to those kids, their families and whoever was driving the boat.
     
  5. Captain_Ron

    Captain_Ron New Member

    55
    Aug 17, 2012
    Buford,GA
    1976 Sea Ray SRV 195
    351 Mercruiser
    The more and more I hear about stuff like this the more and more I wish they would make boating classes mandatory. When I was 13 I took a boating class from the local DNR so I could operate my familys jet ski by myself. I personally think this should be mandatory for all boaters. Espically when I see people around lanier younger than myself (i'm 25) operating these 60k and up wakeboat boats. I dont know about everyone else but we have a place on lanier called sunset cove where you see all these pratically brand new wakeboard boats tied up together only one anchor holding them all while they just get trashed and fall over the side and then fly out of the cove rocking everyone else. We actually just had an accident here where Pdiddy's step son almost died from a jet skier loosing control and runing him over while he was on a tube behind another boat.
     
  6. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Mark, I'm with you. I have a hard and fast rule that if I have to move the boat I won't drink anything with alcohol in it. I was hit once by a drunk boater and my 330 Dancer ended up getting totaled as a result.

    Too damm many things can go wrong by themselves without tossing some booze into the mix.
     
  7. RobnBern

    RobnBern Member

    195
    Jan 24, 2010
    Upper Potomac River
    1995 370DA
    7.4L Bluewater
    Hi everyone,

    Good news update. The girls are home. The most seriously injured young lady is in good spirits but has a good bit of recovery ahead her, not the most fun way to start your sophomore year of high school. Fortunately, there was no alcohol involved in the accident and we confirmed they were being towed by a PWC. 24 hours before this accident, there was another crash involving PWC's and teenagers on the same body of water. Why is it that people view the PWC as a toy?? It's a complex, insanely fast, very maneuverable, BOAT!!! We recently purchased a PWC to compliment our 370DA and we are amazing tight on who can operate it. Besides the admiral and I, there is only one other person approved to run the ski with the towable.

    I'm very happy that this accident did not end in complete tragedy.

    Be safe everyone!!
     
  8. blaster

    blaster Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 23, 2011
    potomac river
    2010 sea ray 205 sport
    F150 5.4 xlt 4x4
    Mercruiser 4.3 mpi alpha 1.62
    Thank you for your post RobnBern. This seems to be a problem that never gets better. Education is only part of the answer, you can't teach common sense. Do you know what body of water the incedent occured on? I was on lake Anna over the weekend with the pastor of my church and his family and I saw a lot of what you described happening. I didn't have my 205 with me because its at PW marina having some repairs made but that's for another post. My pastor and his family have a 19' Stingray they keep there and his sons are avid wakeskate and wakeboarders. They were telling me horror stories about jet ski collisions and boating accidents they have seen on the lake. They showed me a tow rope which was cut in half when a boat zoomed between their boat and their son Scott who was being towed. Things like that make me glad I boat on the more open waters of the tidal Potomac. I personally witnessed near collisions with skiers and other boats and the operators seemingly unaware of any danger. My daughter was upset I wouldn't let her go on the tube but with the traffic it wasn't worth the risk. Its too bad they don't show new boaters videos of boating accidents. Like they do new drivers in drivers ed.
     
  9. RobnBern

    RobnBern Member

    195
    Jan 24, 2010
    Upper Potomac River
    1995 370DA
    7.4L Bluewater
    Hi Blaster

    The accident was on Lake Gaston NC. I agree with you, it's so scary.

    I see from your pic, we're on the same body of water. We often take the kids deep into Belmont Bay for PWC towing etc. We were over on Mattowoman a few weeks ago and could not believe how many people were skiing in between boats on the hook, bass boats zooming thru to get to better fishing. Have you taken your daughter to Wades Bay for skiing or deep into Belmont?? Both are pretty good. Wades is much wider. A little far in the 370 for an every weekend jaunt but on the 205, it should be easy.

    R
     
  10. chandalen

    chandalen New Member

    367
    Aug 7, 2011
    Alexandra Bay,NY
    '83 Sundancer 270, Humminbird 593c
    Twin merc 305, with new SEI 106 drives
    There is a bay I docked at last year, Swan Bay. On the left exit, there is a shallow marker if you can call it that.. its a milk jug. Well the whole bay is popular for skiers, and towables as the water is usually smooth. We were heading towards Clayton and I saw the usual skiers etc, but a bow rider had a tube behind it.. the kind with 3 riders. He would skirt within 10' of that milk carton but stay to the 'deep water' side of it. The tube, would not... it went right over a patch that I myself found out exactly how shallow it was last year. Its 18" deep at best, with rocky bottom. The river is about 8" low this year.

    So I diverted.. flagged them down and told them how deep the water was their tubers were going over.. The reply was.. thanks, but I'm not going to take the boat over it so its OK.

    After I got over my shock, and running what he said through my mind 5 times incase -I- was the wrong one here... I asked.. so.. how deep will a kid sink if they fall off going 25 mph into water. Are you SURE its no deeper than 12"... cause i'm thinking at least a leg will go that far.

    THEN I think I actually saw a light bulb go on. They apologised, thanked us, and asked for a better location. They were borrowing the boat from a river friend and only 1 of the 4 children on board was theirs.

    THAT could have ended badly.
     
  11. Bucit

    Bucit New Member

    Mar 12, 2010
    St. Petersburg Florida
    2005 280 Sundancer
    2004 SPD-104 Achilles w/ 8hp Yamaha
    Twin 4.3 MPI's with Alpha drives.
    We just had the same thing happen a couple of weeks ago here. Parents got a new boat, 15 year old took the keys without them knowing and decided to pull a tube with two girls on it in between docks. He slammed the tube into a dock killing one young girl. No alcohol but not a good situation.
     
  12. RobnBern

    RobnBern Member

    195
    Jan 24, 2010
    Upper Potomac River
    1995 370DA
    7.4L Bluewater
    WOW!! That's really scary. We just got back from a trip to the Rio Dulce Guatemala. I was told to be VERY careful running a boat on the river, especially at night. 95 % of the boats don't use their navigation lights. When they do, it's on, then off. The no wake, no ski signs mean absolutely nothing. There were big sedan bridges heading up river passing dangerously close to dug out canoes. We had several jet skis pulling tubes nearly collide with our little ski boat. It was crazy. So, it seems that irresponsible boaters are world wide.
     
  13. blaster

    blaster Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 23, 2011
    potomac river
    2010 sea ray 205 sport
    F150 5.4 xlt 4x4
    Mercruiser 4.3 mpi alpha 1.62
    I've been to Gaston before, pretty big lake. I guess it doesn't matter where you are, there's always potential to run indo clowns.

    I like to fish way back in belmont bay in a secret deep hole. I generally head down river sometimes all the way to the 301 bridge. I also like to get out during the week when there aren't so many people. Maybe I'll see you out there some time.
     
  14. Mikemapva

    Mikemapva Member

    481
    Aug 6, 2007
    Potomac River, VA
    2001 Chaparral Signature 300
    Twin 5.0 Volvo DPs with 7KW Kohler
    Blaster,

    I've been meaning to ask you a question ever since I first saw your signature pic. Is that pic taken at Occoquan Regional Park?

    Mike
     
  15. blaster

    blaster Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 23, 2011
    potomac river
    2010 sea ray 205 sport
    F150 5.4 xlt 4x4
    Mercruiser 4.3 mpi alpha 1.62
    Yse it is, I've kept my boats there since 2004. I moved into a townhouse after my marriage ended and my boat won't fit in the garage. The no wake zone is a little annoying but its a convenient location for me and I just fish or eat during the no wake journey.
     
  16. adrenaline junkie

    adrenaline junkie New Member

    12
    Aug 9, 2012
    seneca falls, ny
    78 srv240 sdb,
    260 mercruiser gm 5.7L
    Great subject! A few years back I let my uncle borrow my cobia, to take my cousin and her new husband skiing on Cayuga lake, there is a "sand bar" at the North end. He decided to trim the outdrive full down. And ski threw 3 - 5 ft. Water. Weaving between anchored boats and swimmers, ended up costing me a ss prop and a new alpha1.

    I believe it should b mandatory all boaters go threw a power squadron boater safety course, some states require them for jetski operators, but I think it should b for all. I completed the course when I was 12yrs old.

    Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk 2
     
  17. Mikemapva

    Mikemapva Member

    481
    Aug 6, 2007
    Potomac River, VA
    2001 Chaparral Signature 300
    Twin 5.0 Volvo DPs with 7KW Kohler
    Blaster,

    That's a nice park. I kept my boat there this past winter, but keep it in a slip at Fairfax Yacht Club during the season. We go back to the town of Occoquan and to PWM on occasion and it is a long way through the no wake zone.

    Mike
     
  18. RobnBern

    RobnBern Member

    195
    Jan 24, 2010
    Upper Potomac River
    1995 370DA
    7.4L Bluewater
    UPDATE on the girls.....They're doing great. The oldest is still in a wheelchair but she comes down the block all the time with a huge smile and all the neighborhood kids willing to push her up and down to make sure she's not left out. Even though she's not my daughter, it still frightens me to know how close we came to losing her. When I was a flight paramedic, I actually took care of two of our neighborhood kids over the years. It's so hard when you see kids you know injured but you can rejoice in how strong they really are....

    Anyway, just thought I'd close this thread with an update we can all smile about. Enjoy some AWESOME Fall boating if you can.
     
  19. ThorSen

    ThorSen Member

    72
    Aug 17, 2017
    Western North Carolina
    2018 SPX 190 OUTBOARD 150
    150 4-stroke Mercury outboard
    Bump as a PSA safety reminder ... ahead of the coming “tubing season”

    Be Fun Stay Safe
     

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