The tragic PWC accident of Usher’s stepson Kile Glover has drawn national attention to the tragedy of wreckless boat operation on what should be a placid setting, boating on Lake Lanier. Jet ski operator Jeffrey Simon Hubbard was arrested for homicide last summer after he struck Kile Glover while he was swimming.
Lake Lanier boat capsizes
Steven Canton tells a frightening story of boating on Lake Lanier March 10, 2013. Steven and his wife Sophia and their two sons, Steven (6) and Frank (5) assisted during the rescue. “All I can say is God put my wife and I and our two sons on lake lanier today instead of lake Oconee for a reason. After spending yesterday fishing the Barry’s Tournament on Lake Oconee, I thought a nice way to spend the afternoon with the family would be catching a few spotted bass on lake lanier. After fishing the first spot with no luck we moved past the bridge at Lake Lanier Islands to try again.”
“There were a few boats whizzing by when I looked over my shoulder and saw a man and his wife and kids putting by in a johnboat with a little 5hp motor. Larger boats were throwing off a big wake. My wife and I were talking about their potential danger when a larger yacht boat came by throwing off a large wake. Our boat started to rock so we looked over at theirs and they were in danger. Their boat had been swamped. We were already preparing to help them as we had reeled in our lines and started towards them.”
The boat capsized
“Debris was floating everywhere. The father was screaming, ‘Help us. Help us. Get the baby. Get the baby.’ The mother panicking as she held tightly to her baby girl. Their son was holding tightly to his dad. We pulled up beside them and first pulled the 7-month-old baby girl into our boat followed by the 5-year-old boy, mom and then dad climbed the ladder into the back of our boat. All were in shock from the 47-degree water temperature.”
“My wife and I began taking our warm clothes off and giving them to the family to wrap up in. We then found more jackets and cover ups in the boat to wrap them up. The baby girl was the coldest and my wife was monitoring her closely. Her lips, legs and arms were quickly turning blue. Mama was told to keep the baby close to her for body heat and alert and don’t let her doze off.”
“After trying to flag down other boaters that would take some time to slow down, come over and or help we called 911 who alerts DNR and we requested and EMS to meet us at the boat ramp at Lake Lanier Island to check the baby first, the son, mom and dad. The baby had a body temperature of 68 and hypothermic. The boy was cold and scared. Mom was scared and in shock but okay, and dad was a nervous wreck, scared, cold and shaking.”
“The point is the bigger boats need to be aware of the wakes they produce and the effects this may have on the life of another. Also to all those boaters we tried to flag down. I hope you sleep well tonight. I know we will sleep safe well and knowing that family is not another Lake Lanier statistic. Life is precious. Wear your life jackets and be aware of others around you.” We appreciate the heroic efforts of Steven Canton and his family.
Courtesy when encountering other boats
Your best defense is to have your personal floatation device on your children and yourself at all times. You can’t rely on the safe driving of other boaters to keep you safe. Jumping the wake of a passing boat, or riding too close to another boat, creates special risks ad is restricted or even prohibited. Visibility around the boat making the wake may be blocked, both for the PWC operator and for oncoming traffic.
- Half of all boating or PWC accidents happen from colliding with another boat or object.
- Practically all boating accidents occur because of carelessness, inexperience, or ignorance of safe boating practices.
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