Major boating incident on Fiesta Island
There is a video in this post where some people describe what happened. There is blood in the video on the boat. Note that all involved are alive and there aren’t life-threatening injuries. The injuries are severe, but no one will die as a result of what happened. If you’re not squeamish, watch the video, otherwise, skip it. Below is my recall of the events that happened.
Today we were walking the dogs on Fiesta Island. It’s a beautiful place to walk dogs. The weather was wonderful and I never realized how large the area is for walking dogs. My Favorite Daughter, Hijo, My Favorite nephew and niece, My sister-in-law, the Mrs, and Mathew were all walking and playing with all the dogs we’d brought as well as all the dogs that decided to join our party.
Around the back side, we split up. The Mrs, SiL, and I were on top of the ridge and the others were walking along the beach. The area we were walking along was next to an area where there is supposed to be one boat and one boat only that’s for water skiing. There’ve been a number of accidents in this area which is why there’s a restriction. We saw a boat going out from the area with a water skiier slaloming through the bouys. Obviously an experienced skiier. From where they were departing, there was a lot of yelling. I’d thought it was people yelling at an inflatable craft that was apparently stuck in the water ski area. As I said, an area the inflatable should never had been in. A man was paddling the boat trying to get out of there. There was a motor, but the man must have run out of gas.
From what I found out later, the people on the shore were not yelling at the man in the inflatable, they were yelling at the jet ski boat to stop and give those people, who’d run out of gas, time to get to shore or help them to shore. It was an older man with his wife and kid. They’d made a mistake and were in the wrong place trying to get out of the way as best they could.
The woman driving the boat didn’t seem to care. The man water skiiing, didn’t seem to care.
When the made their return run, the inflatable was in their way. It was obvious they couldn’t get out of the way and were doing what they could. About 200 or 300 feet away, the woman driving the boat started to honk her horn as if the man paddling could get out of their way. She didn’t slow, didn’t veer, just stayed the course.
The man on the skis could have seen the inflatable. He had to have known the boat was there from their first run. By this time, EVERYONE on the both sides was watching what was going on. The horn had everyone’s attention. Many people on the beach yelled and yelled for the boat to stop.
The man on the skis continued his slalom run which brought his tow rope over the inflatable. I don’t know if this was deliberate, an accident, or what. All I know is the rope landed on the inflatable, slack. The man grabbed the child and ducked under the rope. They were safe. The woman? The rope went taught and slashed up and across her face. She went down in the boat. There was a lot of blood. The man sat up and screamed “What have you done! What did you do! Someone call 9-1-1! Help!”
Honestly, I thought the woman was dead. The child began to cry. My heart stopped.
This entire series of events was preventable by the people water skiing. At any point the could have powered down the boat. Stopped. And all of this wouldn’t have happened. I don’t know if it was their plan to scare the people, flip their boat, or what they were thinking. All I know, it was entirely preventable. There were many witnesses. You can hear a retelling of the events in the video. We were horrified.
Thankfully, the Mrs, and SiL didn’t see what happened. I thought I’d seen a woman killed. The woman was not. She suffered “severe, non-life-threatening facial injuries.” She will live. We saw her struggle to sit up in the boat. There’s nothing worse than a feeling of helplessness watching someone suffer.
The man continued to try and paddle to shore, but you could hear him crying. The child crying.
The woman in the water ski boat did stop. She went over the the skier and took him over to the inflatable craft. The man held onto the inflatable and they towed them to shore.
By this time, many people had tried to call 9-1-1. I tried to call, got patched through to harbor police and got a busy signal. Before I could hang, up, sirens were already on their way. Before the boats reached the shore, two harbor police showed up. A firetruck arrived, multiple police, and an ambulance arrived before they reached the shore.
Now, everything else that happened, took place on the opposite shore from where we were. We saw the man and child get out of the inflatable. Harbor police escorted the man and woman who caused the accident to a dock in the middle of the area before taking them to shore for questioning (I’m assuming here). The woman hit by the tow rope was placed on a gurney and loaded into the ambulance and taken away. I’m not sure, but I think the man and child also rode with her in the ambulance.
While that was going on, a man, that you’ll see in the video, was yelling at the water skier and the woman driving the boat that everything that happened was their fault and he saw everything. That he’d make sure the police knew exactly what they’d done. He shouted at them all the way from our side until he arrived where the police were. I don’t blame him for being angry. I think many of us were in shock over what occurred.
When we finished our walk and left, there were still police vehicles there. The man and woman were still there. The inflatable was still there. I can only be thankful that no one died on the water after the events that happened. If you didn’t watch the video, the woman driving the boat is in the background asking why she can’t get her things off the boat, which, again, is parked in the middle of the water.
I don’t know what’ll happen. I don’t claim to know the laws. I don’t know the state of the woman taken to the hospital. If I find more information online, I will add it to this post.
I wasn’t going to write this up, but I needed to get these events out of my head. I hope if you’re ever in a situation where you can prevent an accident before you cause it, you think about the human lives that may be at stake. The people water skiing may have been annoyed by the inflatable ruining their good time, but that’s no excuse to put anyone’s life at risk like that.