Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Boynton man accused of making fake distress call that triggered $350,000 search

Boynton Beach -- Federal prosecutors charged an unemployed tow truck driver Tuesday with making the phony distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard earlier this month that triggered a 48-hour, $350,000 search-and-rescue operation off Boynton Beach earlier this month.


What a waste of time and valuable resources.  No telling what prosecution of the case will cost.


Victim Identified From Boating Death In The Northwoods Jun 27, 2006

An evening of boating fun ends tragically for a man in the Northwoods. Officials say Monday night at around 8:00 they recieved a call requesting an ambulance on Little St. Germain Lake.

The caller said there was a boating accident and one person was hurt.
Gregory Bykowski of Delafield was taken to Howard Young Medical Center where he later died.
Investigators say the 42-year-old was being pulled by a boat when the accident happened.
"An individual (Bykowski) being towed on an inflatable type device, a device that actually makes you go a little airborne if you hit a wave, apparently fell, hit the water pretty hard was knocked unconscious for a period of time," says Tom Wrasse, Woodruff Law Enforcement, "When they got him to shore he regained consciousness and was alert responding to questions. They took him to the hospital and shortly after 1:00 a.m. he succumbed to his injuries."
The accident is still under investigation.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Safety and Travel

We are travelling to New Orleans for business this week.  Blogging will likely slow.  All our contact info can be found on this site or if we are needed. 

There have been a lot of accidents reported lately and many involving children. 

Be careful out there on the water and we will be back next week!


Toddler Dies After Losing Leg In Boating Accident

POSTED: 7:06 am EDT June 19, 2006

According to reports, the boy was sitting with his 3-year-old brother on the back of an 18-foot sport boat when the accident occurred. Their father was attempting to drive the boat onto a dry dock after a ride on the Halifax River when the boy fell off the back of the boat and onto its propeller.

An EVAC ambulance spokesman says one of the boy's legs was severed in the accident and he later died at a hospital.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the accident.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Bloglines - Awash in safety...

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Awash in safety...

Awash in safety Boating safety offers youth a chance to test skill on the water Maria Lockwood The Daily Telegram Last Updated: Friday, June 16th, 2006 10:11:54 PM Young boaters were showered with information ...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bloglines - Death ruled accidental, but boat case still a mystery

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Death ruled accidental, but boat case still a mystery

Rescue divers dropped cameras into the murky waters of Neshaminy Creek in Bristol Township yesterday, desperate for answers in the boating accident that killed a man early Saturday.

Bloglines - Officials suspend rescue efforts

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Officials suspend rescue efforts

The extensive rescue effort to find missing publisher Philip Merrill turned to a recovery mission yesterday as authorities reached a grim conclusion: The former diplomat and longtime boating enthusiast likely ...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bloglines - 3 Common Errors Make Boating Unsafe

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3 Common Errors Make Boating Unsafe

It's boating season and boating is a fun activity, but is it safe? Well, here are 3 common errors that can make for unsafe boating.

Bloglines - DWI charge prompts judge to revoke bond in boating case

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DWI charge prompts judge to revoke bond in boating case

The bond for Mark de Tournillon Sr., charged in the boating deaths of a Moneta couple last summer, was revoked Friday after a judge heard he'd been charged with driving while intoxicated in Florida earlier this ...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Judge won't move De Tournillon trial

 Mark De Tournillon

A Bedford County judge wants a local jury to hear the case of a man charged with a fatal boating accident on Smith mountain Lake last summer.

An elderly couple died August 20th when their boat was hit by a speedboat operated by Mark De Tournillion. Friday, Judge James Updike denied a defense motion to move the trial because of pre-trial publicity. He also will allow prosecutors to introduce De Tournillion's blood alcohol level tested shortly after the crash. Updike may also allow the victims' blood alcohol levels to be used as well.

De Tournillion was sent back to jail Friday after the judge learned he'd been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida in April. His trial in Virginia is set to begin June 20th.


Georgia Boy, 7, Killed In Airboat Accident On St. Johns River - Vincent Rutowski

GENEVA, Fla. -- Authorities said a 7-year-old Georgia boy died this morning after being run over by an airboat that had struck a sandbar near Geneva.

The boy had been riding in the airboat with seven other family members on a tour of the St. Johns River.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman says the airboat struck a sandbar. As the boat's operator tried to dislodge the airboat, it pitched forward, throwing seven-year-old Vincent Rutowski out of the boat.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Bloglines - In kayak, you really are one with the water

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In kayak, you really are one with the water

Seattle Times - Rembrandt Smith of Anacortes pauses to take photos on a recent outing of the Puget Sound Paddling Network. LARRABEE STATE PARK, Whatcom County — Bernie Swanson dragged my kayak off the sandy bottom into deeper water, and all of a sudden I had that ...

Bloglines - Speed limit approved

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Speed limit approved

Herald Tribune - WEST PALM BEACH -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a second 25 mph boating channel across Placida Harbor to Little Gasparilla Island on Wednesday. The decision is a victory for residents of Little Gasparilla Island ...

Bloglines - Unusable Boats Flooding Market

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Unusable Boats Flooding Market

According to NASBLA unusable , damaged, even "salvage" boats, resulting from the 2005 Hurricanes, Katrina and Rita, are showing up on the market and they warn boat "buyers beware" . So, they say, if the deal ...

Bloglines - Florida takes manatees off its endangered list

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Florida takes manatees off its endangered list

The manatee, long the poster mammal of the environmental movement in Florida, lost its endangered status from the state Wednesday.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Grandfather: Snorkeling death not boy's fault

The grandfather of the 6-year-old boy killed by a boat while snorkeling in Key West two weeks ago does not blame the 13-year-old boy charged in connection with his death.


Investigation launched as Norwegian Crown hits reef

An investigation has begun to find out why a 34,000 ton cruise ship ran aground on a reef between Spanish Point and Dockyard temporarily stranding more than 1,600 passengers and crew.

It is thought the reef struck by the Norwegian Crown early yesterday morning has most likely been ruined.

The reefs of the world are taking a beating lately.


Grandfather: Snorkeling death not boy's fault

The grandfather of the 6-year-old boy killed by a boat while snorkeling in Key West two weeks ago does not blame the 13-year-old boy charged in connection with his death.


Dead lake comes back to life, at least for now (off topic)

ALBANY, N.Y. - A crystalline Adirondack lake once held up as an example of a “dead” lake devastated by acid rain has now become a symbol of nature’s ability to heal itself once pollutants are curbed.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Kayak safety bill heads to Senate


The Act Relative to Kayak Safety sponsored by state representatives Shirley Gomes and William Straus would require anyone who kayaks in Massachusetts waters to wear a life jacket all of the time (required now only during the winter months), carry a compass and a signaling device such as a whistle. The bill also requires anyone renting a kayak from a local outfitter to be trained in the techniques of exiting and entering a kayak if it capsizes.


Safety requirements do vary from craft to craft in most states.  Kayakers do have special needs to safely navigate their crafts.



Man Sentenced in Fatal Boating Accident

A man from the St. Louis area could spend up to seven years in jail for a boating accident over Memorial Day weekend in 2005.

Water patrol officers say Paul Volpe, 43, of Ballwin, was operating a boat on Table Rock Lake while intoxicated.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Boy's death mourned as `profound tragedy'

The 13 year old that killed the boy was legally allowed to be driving the boat.

Quotes from the article:

''A kid of any age can drive a boat. There is just a completely different set of regulations,''. ``You have to get a safe boating certificate and apparently they issue a card. You can do it at any age.''

The 13 year old driver had such a card, which can be obtained by completing an online course or one of several classroom safety courses offered by groups such as the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadron, according to the wildlife commission.

''There is no minimum age as long as they are able to read and understand the material and understand the test,'' wildlife commission spokesman Steve Acton said.

Those 21 and younger are required to pass a course to operate any recreational vessel with 10 horsepower or more, with a caveat: Children under 14 are not allowed to operate personal watercraft.


Apparently, the course was not enough.  Something went terribly wrong.


3 injured, dog killed in St. Johns / Osteen boat collision


Three Sanford residents were taken to a hospital Sunday after two boats collided in the St. Johns River, authorities said. The boats collided about 2:30 p.m. in the St. Johns River near Lemon Bluff Road in Osteen, said Kat Kelley, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman.

A 26-year-old man suffered a broken leg and his dog was killed in the accident. He was taken to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach in stable condition, said EVAC ambulance spokesman Mark O'Keefe.

From the second boat, one woman was airlifted to Halifax and a man was taken to the hospital by EVAC ambulance. Both were in stable condition. O'Keefe said.

Officers from the Conservation Commission are investigating the accident.


Ship’s captain blamed in cement spill on reef


Marine scientists said shortly after the incident that damage to the reef -- sections of which were hundreds of years old -- could be the most severe from a ship grounding in Hawaii's history.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Is our blog scaring boaters??

Over the life of this blog we have had several comments from astute readers about our blog scaring people off the water.  It seems that posts about boating accidents, injuries, statistics and news has the effect of making people want to stay on the couch and off the water where it is “safer”.

Recently, a colorful and insightful reader “Tillerman” commented on our blog in his DO NOT READ THIS BLOG post.  Incidentally, our blog traffic increased after this post.  Several of Tillerman’s readers debate the question of whether the risk of boating is worth the fun. 

This has been said about risk:

“When channeled into sports like climbing, where skill and training can minimize danger, or into starting a new business, risk taking may continue to be a healthy psychological outlet. It may provide a means to cope with boredom and modern anxieties, to bolster self-esteem. Risk taking may provide a crucial sense of control in a period where so much of what happens--from crime and auto accidents to environmental disasters and economic downturns--seems almost random.”

Also this has been said about ocean sailing and risk:

“Psychological research studies that have investigated the mental health of risk takers have been inconclusive or contradictory, and in some cases risk taking behaviours (e.g. ocean sailing) have even been shown to lead to increases in self-esteem.”

If you have any BRAINS and want to avoid risk you may read this.

And if all else fails you may want to fall back on the old hold harmless agreement.

I think most boaters would agree that all risk cannot be eliminated from water sports and activities.  Risk is inherent to the water and craft that navigate upon it.  Some degree of risk is acceptable, if tempered with reason.  With training, skill and a modicum of common sense boating can be done safely. 

If you read this blog don’t freeze up with fear and anxiety.  Go out and enjoy the water and try to learn from the mistakes and misfortunes of others.  Although risky the benefits of the water are worth it. 

There is risk in sitting on the couch too.

Have fun on the water and remember …..always wear your life jacket!! 

Be safe.



Blair man, Ralston woman killed on Missouri River Sunday

The mood was somber as the American Legion Senior baseball team took the field Wednesday, May 31. The entire team wore black armbands on their left arms in remembrance of Colton Peterson, a former teammate and coach who was killed in a Memorial Day weekend boat accident on the Missouri River.


Friday, June 02, 2006

USCG Cutter Set to Mark Historical Site

USCG Cutter Set to Mark Historical Site

Friday, June 02, 2006
The Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin is scheduled to set the historic "Francis Scott Key" buoy off of Fort McHenry, Md., near the Key Bridge Monday, June 5, 2006. The buoy marks the spot where the ship carrying Francis Scott Key, the author of the Star Spangled Banner, was anchored during the bombardment of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. Each year the buoy is set in the spring marking the historic location of the event and then removed in the fall. Park Rangers from Ft. McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine and members of the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society and others will join the James Rankin wearing period uniforms and clothing, and provide a narrative of the events that occurred on that historic day.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Four dead in boating accident on Dworshak Reservoir - Carbon Monoxide Poisioning

dworshak reservoir boating accident

SPOKANE -- A family outing turned deadly this weekend when four people - two adults and two children - were found dead in their boat on Dworshak Reservoir in Clearwater County, Idaho Monday morning.

A Clearwater County Marine Deputy found the boat just after 11 AM Monday that apparently struck the shoreline and sank.

A subsequent investigation revealed that the occupants died of carbon monoxide poisoning due to lack of ventilation in the boat's cabin prior to striking the shoreline.

This is a bizarre set of circumstances.  These reports suggest that the family was overcome by fumes before the crash??


Two boating deaths under investigation / Boat Strikes Barge on Missouri River Near Tekamah

Two boating deaths under investigation

An investigation continues into the deaths of two people who were killed Sunday when the boat they were in struck a barge in the Missouri River near Tekamah, Neb. Killed were Colton Peterson, 20, a 2004 Blair (Neb.) High School graduate, and Morgen Wees, 19, a 2005 Ralston High School graduate.


Okoboji / Brosnahan / Nearman / Hit and Run Boating Update


DES MOINES- It's looking to be perfect for boating this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, but before you hit the water there's a new law you need to know about. Last summer, a deadly hit-and-run boat crash on West Lake Okoboji killed Perry dentist Michael Brosnahan, and left his wife, Jill, seriously injured.

We followed this story extensively last year.  This goes to show how the law changes in response to alleged bad acts on the water.


Fatal Boating Crash Goes to Trial in Fla.

A man went on trial Wednesday in a fatal boating crash, after the victim's father paid for a computer animation of the wreck that the prosecutor couldn't afford.

Defense attorney Stephen Greer told jurors Wednesday that the computer-generated video is flawed and misleading, partly because it ignores some descriptions of what happened after the 14 boats took off for the Working Man's Bass Club tournament.

We have found that computer animations can be very persuasive in maritime cases.  When well done viewers often accept the animation as reality.  Most judges expect that there be an accurate factual foundation for the animation and it must comport with the facts or usually is excluded.  There is a body of law on admissibility of these types of animations. 

This is an interesting case.