A man is dead and several others are injured after a boating crash on the Connecticut River in Portland, authorities said.
State Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection officials said they’re investigating a single-vessel boating accident that happened just north of Petzold’s Marina.
There were eight people on board the boat, two of which were minors between the ages of six and 12, DEEP officials said. The children were taken to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center for treatment.
“The boat collided with the shoreline. We’re still investigating how that happened,” DEEP EnCon Police Captain Keith Williams said.
A total of seven boaters were transported to the hospital with injuries, officials said.
“There is one fatality at this point. Another female passenger on the vessel is in critical condition,” Williams said.
The identity of the man that died has not yet been released.
“What we know so far is they were heading north on the river. We’re not sure as to what caused the operator to lose control of the helm. But from what we understand, he lost control of the helm, of the wheel, for some reason. It’s all under investigation right now. The boat veered off course and made a direct shot for the shoreline and went probably fifty or so 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 crash marks eight boating deaths so far this year.
“It’s been an unfortunate season for us and everyone involved,” Williams said.
The boat has been salvaged and has been taken out of the water.
“We always say know your limitations, what your capabilities are as far as a captain of your vessel and what your boat can do. Definitely know the conditions of any body of water you’re going out to. Know the hazards. Do your homework before you go out. Always safety equipment on board, life jackets are always paramount for that,” Williams said.
“Just be mindful of who you have on your boat because as the operator, you’re responsible for everybody on board. So you just want to make sure you are operating in a safe manner so incidents don’t happen like this,” he continued.
DEEP officials said they’re not sure if the boaters were wearing life jackets. They said there’s no indication that alcohol was involved, but that’s being investigated as well.
Several neighboring departments responded to the scene. EnCon Police are actively investigating the crash.