Sad weekend on the Colorado River

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
#3
A horrible tragedy...
Yep. They found two more bodies today. One of the survivors was on one of the morning shows and said the "other" boat didn't have running lights on - same thing as last year right outside Windsor Beach here on the lake, a large boat w/o running lights t-boned another boat and killed several people. This article describes what it was like being thrown into the river with the fast current..... it sounds like if a person wasn't a strong swimmer or knocked unconscious they didn't stand a chance.
https://abc7.com/body-of-ventura-wo...or-colorado-river-boat-crash-victims/4144955/
 

Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
#4
In my younger days I used to go to the area this happened. On a Holiday weekend it gets real crazy there with lots of drinking and showing off in boats. Although it has not been confirmed yet, alcohol could be a factor. I read it was around 8:00 PM, which gets you darker skies and limited visibility. Add in 1 boat reportedly going 50 miles per hour, and there is your formula for trouble. I was surprised that the ages of 2 of the deceased were over 50. Usually this behavior comes from those 20 to 30 years old. Either way, this is a sad situation. I hope they find the fourth body soon, so the family can have closure.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
#5
In my younger days I used to go to the area this happened. On a Holiday weekend it gets real crazy there with lots of drinking and showing off in boats. Although it has not been confirmed yet, alcohol could be a factor. I read it was around 8:00 PM, which gets you darker skies and limited visibility. Add in 1 boat reportedly going 50 miles per hour, and there is your formula for trouble. I was surprised that the ages of 2 of the deceased were over 50. Usually this behavior comes from those 20 to 30 years old. Either way, this is a sad situation. I hope they find the fourth body soon, so the family can have closure.
It's way crazy up there, we stopped going up there on a Holiday weekend back in the early 80's when someone ran their skier into the rocks right in front of when they cut between us and the boat our friends were in just ahead of us and then the boat left the scene, leaving us to jump in and pull the guy out of the water [face down] and drag on the deck of our friends boat to take back to the Marina [which is where Pirates Cove is now]. We rushed ahead to call for an ambulance [they had to come out of Needles] and as we entered wakeless someone yelled for us to slow down, we told them we had an injury coming in behind us and needed to call for help, this person turned around and followed us in - turned out he was a neurosurgeon [which was great luck for this guy if you saw his head from hitting the rocks at the speed of being on a whip with a short rope.. That was it for us. We had friends with a cottage and a private beach over at Havasu Landing area and after that if we came out on a holiday we went there and stayed off the river.

It appears the Sleekcraft had a companion boat nearby and they were heading in toward Pirates Cove for the end of day. They had running lights on, the larger Hallett coming out of Pirate Cove [evidently heading back up here to Havasu didn't have running lights] ran into them. I can't imagine running the gorge back to Havasu after dark, too many twists and turns and sandbars. The survivors were all on the Sleekcraft and the girl that survived had just moved to the back of the boat when she heard someone yell out and then the crash, her father on the other boat said it sounded like a freight train, their running lights was how they knew where to dive around the wreckage of the sunk boats. One of the girls who drowned had posted a lot of Instagram pics of the trip.... As of today there hasn't been any reports of the last young woman being found.
 

Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
#6
Waterbaby, I was just wondering if you or anyone has seen an update on this story. It has fallen off the media map around me. I know they recovered a third body, but do not know if the last body was ever recovered. There also have been no reports on how the injured are doing, or if either of the drivers were under the influence. I was at Lake Mead last weekend, and by 8:00 PM it was dark. Driving 50 miles per hour in the dark is not sane anyway. I thought there were laws about speed after dark.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
#7
Waterbaby, I was just wondering if you or anyone has seen an update on this story. It has fallen off the media map around me. I know they recovered a third body, but do not know if the last body was ever recovered. There also have been no reports on how the injured are doing, or if either of the drivers were under the influence. I was at Lake Mead last weekend, and by 8:00 PM it was dark. Driving 50 miles per hour in the dark is not sane anyway. I thought there were laws about speed after dark.
As of today they still have not found the last body. The owner/driver of the Hallett was located 18 miles downriver from the accident scene. The two women they found almost right away were near the accident site. A few days ago they moved the searchers epicenter down to the water center here on Havasu and yesterday they called off the divers, said they've searched the river everywhere they could and now will do topwater and shoreline searches. We have a LOT of heavy brush from the accident scene as well as down through the gorge, and a lot of wild animals including coyotes, but also wild boars, as a matter of fact they were returning to the wildlife area this week for another round of shooting the boars as the population is out of control. anyway. I did read one of the two women flown to Vegas has a broken neck at C7 - but the two were "recovering."
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
#9
http://www.mohavedailynews.com/news...cle_21dd43ce-b978-11e8-95de-17722612cfc8.html
Search for missing boater continues but scaled back
  • Daily News staff
  • 22 hrs ago
LAKE HAVASU CITY — The search for a woman missing from a Sept. 1 boat crash near Topock Marsh enters its third week with efforts scaled back but continuing.
“The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office and assisting agencies have covered approximately 18 miles of the Colorado River and have moved the search efforts into Lake Havasu as well,” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Anita Mortensen said in an email reply to the Mohave Valley Daily News. “From this point, our searchers are focusing on top water and shoreline searches, as well as the side-scan sonar on our agencies’ patrol boats. If something underwater is seen by the sonar, our divers will investigate. This is being done by our Division of Boating Safety and volunteer posse.”
Raegan Heitzig, 26, of Ventura, California, is presumed dead, the fourth victim of the crash of two pleasure boats over Labor Day Weekend.

The bodies of Christine Lewis, Brian Grabowski and Kirra Drury have been recovered. Lewis, 51, of Visalia, California, was found Sept. 3 near the crash site. Drury, 24, of Ventura, was found Sept. 4, also near the crash site. Grabowski, 51, of Tulare, California, was found Sept. 4 about 18 miles downriver, north of Lake Havasu.
After a week centering search efforts around the crash site in the area of Topock Marsh and Pirate’s Cove, the sheriff’s office moved its command center to the Lake Havasu City Water Safety Center. Other assisting agencies, including dive teams from Los Angeles and San Bernardino County, were scaled back and eventually dismissed from local search efforts.
A total of 16 people were on the two boats that collided around 8 p.m. on Sept. 1. All were thrown into the water; none reportedly were wearing life jackets. In addition to the four missing, nine others were injured, two critically.

Mortensen said the investigation into the crash, like the search itself, is continuing. No details of that investigation have been made public.
“The investigation into the crash is ongoing and does not have an estimated time of being completed,” Mortensen said. “Boat collisions are a complex investigation, especially one of this magnitude. Information will be released upon completion.”
 
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