Belton — Men Missing After Canoe Accident on Belton Lake
Posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2019 at 12:17 am
On the evening of Monday, January 21, 2019, a canoe accident occurred on Benton Lake.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, 3 men, 2 of whom were soldiers, took out 2 motorized canoe to Benton Lake on Monday night. However, one of the canoes turned over, and during the attempt to save it, the other canoe capsized as well. One of the soldiers was able to swim back to shore, but the remaining individuals were missing.
A heavy search was conducted at Sparta Valley Park the next day, and eventually a dive team with the Morgan’s Point Resort Police was assembled.
The dive team was able to recover a body from 10 feet of water at 2 p.m. Tuesday, January 22, 2019. The body was found on the opposite shore from Sparta Valley Park on Benton Lake.
A capsized canoe was also located at that bank.
It is incredibly terrible to hear of this accident that happened on Benton Lake. Unfortunately, boating accidents like this one are not that uncommon in the United States. In 2016, the Coast Guard counted 4,463 boating-related accidents, with 701 deaths and 2,903 injuries. The fatality rate was 5.9 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational boats, and this rate represents 11.3% increase from 2015’s fatality rate of 5.3 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational boats. Moreover, in comparison to 2015, the number of accidents in 2016 increased by 7.3%, the number of deaths increased by 12%, and the number of injuries increased by 11.1%.
Additionally, 80% of fatal boating accidents showed that victims drowned, and of these drowning victims, 83% were not wearing a life jacket. Other primary factors that contribute to boating accidents are alcohol, operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and machinery failure.
Where data was known, the 3 types of boating vessel with the highest percentage of deaths were open motorboats (47%), kayaks (13%), and canoes (9%).
If you are a victim of a boating accident, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then don’t lose hope. The police will always be there to help you, but more than that, boat accident lawyers and personal injury lawyers are more than willing to help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.