Thread: PWC accident in Mission Bay
08-21-2008, 02:03 PM #1
PWC accident in Mission Bay
Boat Flips, Disintegrates in Mission Bay
By: Jack Innis | Thursday, August 21, 2008 10:55:00 AMLater that day, a PWC rider suffers leg injuries.
MISSION BAY — A balmy Sunday evening turned hectic for San Diego City lifeguards patrolling Mission Bay Aug. 10.
At about 5:30 p.m., a pickle-fork boat involved in a drag race with a 21-foot powerboat broke apart after it tumbled end-over-end in Sail Bay.
One of the three men on board, in his mid-20s, was taken by ambulance to a local hospital with possible serious injuries. The other two were uninjured.
“The pickle-fork boat had a big, heavy outboard on it and, according to witnesses, was going awfully fast,” said lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum. “Some people estimate its speed at 85 mph. I can’t imagine it going that fast, but then again: maybe.”
The accident happened in a West Mission Bay area called Sail Bay, which is a controlled area that allows open-speed operations after 5 p.m. The accident was reported at 5:35 p.m.
“It was a fairly busy day,” Lerum said. “We had all our patrol vessels out, as did the San Diego Police Department Harbor Unit.”
One witness told lifeguards that it appeared the pickle-fork boat’s operator had the boat trimmed bow high, which appeared to cause the boat to bounce around (porpoise) until one of the pickle forks buried in the water, Lerum stated.
As authorities were administering first aid to the injured boater, another call came in from East Mission Bay.
“We were tending to the first patient when the second call came in,” Lerum said. “A 38-year-old female mangled her leg in a personal watercraft accident at Fiesta Bay.”
Lifeguards ferried the victim to Fiesta Island, where she was taken by ambulance to University of California, San Diego Medical Center.
“The PWC accident highlights the need for people to pay attention and obey laws that pertain to distance and speed,” Lerum said. “The basic speed law requires boaters to slow down to 5 mph when they come within 100 feet of land, piers, other vessels or other objects.
“When Mission Bay gets congested, the number of boats on the water makes it nearly impossible for people to speed around the area without (navigating) within 100 feet of each other,” Lerum added. “When it’s busy, we park a patrol boat right in the middle with our blue lights blinking, just trying to prevent as many accidents as possible. It sometimes seems inevitable that two are going to collide.”
Personal watercraft can behave erratically, Lerum explained. “While boats tend to stay on course, PWCs can turn on a dime — and even turn around on a dime,” he said. “Inexperienced operators seldom look behind themselves as much as necessary.”
Follow-up information regarding the hospitalized pickle-fork and PWC victims was not immediately available. There were no other injuries reported.
This article first appeared in the August 2008 issue of The Log Newspaper. All or parts of the information contained in this article might be outdated
08-21-2008, 02:39 PM #2
I plan on doing some camping at Mission Bay this up coming holiday weekend. I'm on the fence as to bringing my ski's with me. Like MANY holiday weekends, the waters are filled with people who DONT know the rules, or are borrowing their buddies jet ski. First time riders! I know my daughter will want to ride, but in the name of safety, I'm scared to let her go at it. This story still shows its not safe. Decisions, decisions. Whats your take?
08-21-2008, 03:57 PM #3
Well, I think that place is going to be super jam packed on the shore and on the water. I would say if you take your skis, plan on early morning rides before the crowds get on the water, and stay away from the late afternoons as fatigue will be hitting people and glare....they'll all want to get their last rides in...so earlier is better and safer, and it will be COLDER too...so prepare for that. Holidays speak of congestion and that speaks of increased risks and such, so just use your 'instinct'...
08-21-2008, 09:41 PM #4
Originally Posted by shawn alladio
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
- Odessa, TX
We have 50ft here in TX but it is PWC only. Bass boats, Speedboats, pickle forks, and plain runabouts can go as fast as they want as close to what ever they want as long as its not a no wake zone. I think it should be even and equal.
08-24-2008, 01:27 PM #5
I just taught a court appointed PWC class for 2 men who were riding within 100 feet of one another at 25 and 30 MPH per ski, they were about 25' apart and were issued a reckless riding and negligent operation of a motorized vessel. Their court fee was $500 plus a handson PWC course, they were award the ticket in Lake Havasu AZ by AZ boating officers. I am not sure about the laws in Mission Bay California....
08-24-2008, 01:41 PM #6
- Join Date
- May 2008
- Lake Havasu
Well how the heck am I supposed to race anybody on the river then?? Never heard of such a thing. I see little old men/women riding on the lake and upriver all together, easily within 20 feet of each other, and I never see them get pulled over. In fact, I've ridden by the S.B.C.O. boat, at 40+mph, with another ski right next to me, about 10 feet away, and they did nothing. Sounds like there more to the story.
But then again, I'm also fairly experienced, as are the riders that ride with me.
08-24-2008, 01:51 PM #7
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