A man has died and several others are injured after a boating accident on the Connecticut River in Portland, authorities said.
State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials said they are investigating a single-vessel boating accident that occurred just north of the Petzold Marina.
There were eight people on board the boat, including two minors between the ages of 6 and 12, DEEP officials said. The children were taken to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center for treatment.
“The boat collided with the shore. We are still investigating how this happened,” said DEEP EnCon Police Capt. Keith Williams.
A total of seven boaters were taken to hospital with injuries, officials said.
“There is one fatality at this point. Another female passenger on the ship is in critical condition,” Williams said.
The identity of the deceased man has not yet been revealed.
“What we know so far is that they were heading north on the river. We don’t know exactly what caused the operator to lose control of the helm. But according to this as we understand he lost control of the helm, helm, for some reason Everything is under investigation at this time The boat veered off course and pulled straight for shore and probably sailed about 50 feet along the rocky shoreline,” Williams said.
DEEP said all eight passengers were ejected from the boat due to the impact of the crash.
Sunday’s accident marks eight boating fatalities so far this year.
“It’s been an unfortunate season for us and for everyone involved,” Williams said.
The boat was recovered and hauled out of the water.
“We always say know your limits, what your abilities are as captain of your ship and what your boat can do. Know the conditions of any body of water you go to. Know the hazards. Do your homework before you go out. Always safety equipment on board, life jackets are always paramount to that,” Williams said.
“Just be careful who you have on your boat, because as an operator you are responsible for everyone on board. So you just want to make sure you’re operating in a safe way so incidents don’t happen like that,” he continued.
DEEP officials said they did not know if boaters were wearing life jackets. They said there was no indication that alcohol was involved, but that is also being investigated.
Several neighboring departments responded to the scene. EnCon Police are actively investigating the accident.