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Othello, Washington – Woman Hospitalized After Being Rescued from Boat Accident

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Posted on August 12, 2019

Othello, Washington (August 11, 2019) – A woman was hospitalized after she was rescued from Potholes Reservoir on Sunday night. The victim, a 53 year-old woman from Spokane,  spent nearly three hours in the water after the boat she was on sank. Fortunately, she was wearing a life vest and held onto a gasoline can for flotation. She has been taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment of hypothermia and inhalation of gas fumes.

According to the report from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, the 16-foot boat in the accident capsized around 8 p.m. Another person on board was able to put on a life vest and swim to shore, with rescuers being alerted around 9:15 p.m. Crews from the sheriff’s office and Grant County Fire District 5 responded to the incident, with the sheriff’s office using a drone with an infrared camera to search for the victim. She was found and rescued around 10:45 p.m.

About Boat Accidents

Like any other vehicle, boats can be involved in dangerous accidents. According to data from the American Boating Association, in the year 2016 a total of 4463 recreational boating accidents were reported, with 701 deaths and 2903 injuries. Additionally, in 80% of accidents where the cause of death was known, the victims of fatal boats accidents drowned, with 83% of drowning victims not wearing a life jacket. Additionally, in 171 known accidents, at least one person was struck by a propeller, resulting in 24 deaths and 175 injuries. As for the type of vessel used in these accidents, the highest percentage of deaths was associated with open motorboats at 47%, followed by kayaks at 13% and canoes with 9%. As for the cause of the accidents, alcohol is know to be the leading known contributing factor to fatal boat accidents. Other cause of accidents included operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and machinery failure.

Preventing boating accidents comes down to ensuring boat safety regulations are followed. Like with any other vehicle, the vessel itself must be checked to make sure it is safe to use. Proper knowledge of the area where one will be boating is also encouraged. It is also important to make sure that all people on the boat have access to safety devices such as life jackets. Preventing accidents ensures not only our safety, but the safety of others.