Tahoe Keys accident severly injures dog, damages boat
A boating accident on Lake Tahoe Wednesday left one boat mangled and another almost unscathed, Coast Guard officials said.
The accident happened about a half-mile northeast of the Tahoe Keys at about 8:55 p.m. No one was injured. One dog, however, suffered internal injuries and had to be taken to a veterinarian in Carson Valley for emergency treatment.
“The specifics are vague,” said Coast Guard Officer Bill Williamson. “But it appears that one vessel, traveling about 30 to 35 mph, collided with another vessel that was sitting still in the water. The investigation is still pending.”
According to the Coast Guard, the 23 1/2-foot Slickcraft that was floating motionless in the lake was carrying three people and two dogs. It sustained significant damage. The 21-foot Cobalt, carrying five people, had only minor damage to its propeller and engine, the Coast Guard said.
“With the amount of damage that was done to the boat, it’s a miracle that nothing more happened (to the people),” he said.
Rob Kay, owner of the Slickcraft, agreed.
“We all feel lucky to be alive,” he said.
During the recovery of his boat on Thursday morning at Ski Run Marina, Kay said he and his passengers saw the Cobalt approaching from about 200 yards away, heading on a course directly for them. He said he flashed his boat lights at the oncoming vessel but got no response. Seconds before the Cobalt crashed into them, he and his friend jumped overboard and the third person remained in the boat.
Kay said his boat, which he has owned for 11 years, was knocked about 30 yards from the point of impact and is beyond repair.
The name of the 21-year-old South Lake Tahoe man who was driving the Cobalt has not been released by the Coast Guard.
Officer Williamson said initial field sobriety checks indicated that alcohol wasn’t an issue in the accident. He also said that the Coast Guard is checking the boats’ lighting systems to see if they were equipped for night travel.
“The one party is saying they were flashing their lights at the oncoming boat and the other party is saying that they didn’t see them,” Williamson said. “Right now there is no evidence of wrong-doing by either party. It’s just one of those unfortunate mishaps.”
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