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Child injured in Decatur sailboat accident back home

The 11-year-old child injured in a boating accident is now back home.

Posted: May 25, 2019 8:08 PM
Updated: May 25, 2019 8:49 PM

Officials say only the 11-year old boy received serious injury after the sail boat's mast hit electrical lines crossing Flint Creek Friday afternoon. He was in critical condition after the shock, but now Marine Police say he's doing okay and back home.

The Morgan County Rescue Squad spokesperson told me this is the first time he's seen this kind of accident in his 20 years of experience. Boaters in the area also told me they've never heard of something like this happening.

Photo: Decatur Fire & Rescue on Facebook

"A couple of the lifeguards came out and was asking everyone to stand back away from the water because there was an electrical issue," Michael Lopez said.

lopez was at Point Mallard Friday evening when rescue crews responded to the accident. He says he still can't believe what happened.

"I was just wondering how it could even hit the lines because that's pretty high up," Lopez said.

Other boaters who heard the story say it's unusual for a boat to hit power lines.

"You very rarely hear this. I mean it's something rare," Sean Forsom said.

Marine Police say this kind of boating accident has never happened in the area before. WAAY 31 asked investigators whether the accident was caused because of low hanging power lines or because the mast was too high, but they say that's still under investigation.

However, some boaters say the sailors should have paid better attention to their surroundings.

"If they were experience sailors and you have a sail in the air, you got to be aware of what's in the air not only in the water," Forsom said.

The accident serves as a reminder for them to stay safe this memorial day weekend.

"You got to be very aware of your surroundings, what you're doing all the time. We come out here to have fun not get hurt," Lopez said.

WAAY 31 asked Marine Police whether the area where the accident happened was a no sail zone, but they say it's open to all boaters. The only restriction is that it's a no wake zone, which means they need to travel through at minimum speed.

Decatur Utilities is conducting it's own investigation on the accident. They say they don't have any updates at this time.

As we learn more about the investigation, we'll keep you updated both on air and online.

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