As the summer heat is gripping Albany and the surrounding areas, many people are taking to rivers and lakes for recreation and a chance to cool down. As area waterways are becoming more crowded, it becomes even more important for boaters to operate their watercraft in a safe manner.
Earlier this month, four people were killed and two people were seriously injured in a boat accident on the Hudson River. The six people were aboard a 1999 Chris-Craft Bowrider powerboat about 10 to 15 yards offshore when the 19-foot boat crashed into a concrete footing at about 4:30 in the morning.
The crash caused the boat to sink, and two surviving passengers, a 23-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman, managed to make it ashore. Despite suffering critical injuries, the 23-year-old man was able to climb up a 20-foot embankment and found an open garage with a telephone, where he called 911. Emergency responders arrived at the scene hours after the crash.
As the survivors remain in the hospital, police are wrapping up their investigation into the accident. The 27-year-old woman is recovering from multiple bone fractures. The 23-year-old man who managed to call for help did so despite suffering a jaw fracture, multiple broken bones, as well as injuries to his liver, lungs, and back.
Authorities believe they know who was operating the boat. They believe that reckless operation and alcohol played a role in the crash based on empty beer bottles found at the scene of the accident. However, the police are waiting for toxicology results and would like to speak to the survivors before they finalize their investigation.
Sources: The Poughkeepsie Journal, "Hudson River boat crash survivors recovering; police investigation winding down," Emily Stewart, 18 July 2011
WTEN.com, "Four killed in Hudson River boating accident," Emma Yepsen, 11 July 2011