Boating accidents raise concern
Updated: Monday, July 7 2014, 10:43 AM EDT
Rochester, N.Y. – Four people were hurt after their boat struck the Summerville Pier late Friday night.
Deputies say the boat was traveling westbound on Lake Ontario when it hit the pier.
The boat’s operator and 3 passengers were taken to the hospital for the injuries.
Possible charges are pending according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
Just a few weeks ago, a similar incident happened at the Summerville Pier, leaving a 17-year-old seriously hurt.
Also on Friday in Irondequoit, another boat crashed against the rocks after stalling in Lake Ontario with 7 people on board. No injuries were reported, but at least 3 people had to be rescued.
The string of recent boat wrecks has prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to step in and remind boaters about safety.
“We want to see people acting prudently and wisely,” said Larry O’Heron, a public information officer with the U.S. Coast Guard. “On the river, the bay, lake or canal, things can change quickly, very quickly.”
O’Heron said overall, boating accidents in New York State have been declining in recent years, and he believes the recent string of local accidents is an anomaly, but an opportunity to inform as well.
“When you get to sunset and you can’t see a couple of hundred feet in front of you, 5 miles per hour may be too fast,” he said, referring to the often overlooked problems that can occur from boating at night. “Especially when you’re in the vicinity of man-made constructs like piers.”
O’Heron also warned about the occasional choppiness of Lake Ontario.
“One to two foot waves can be tiring on an inexperienced boater in a relatively small boat,” O’Heron added. “Of course what happens is that you become tired and you lose your situational awareness.”
The U.S. Coast Guard plans to be on patrol in some areas on Saturday night to make sure rules are being followed.