Marine Patrol identify Huntsville man, Vinemont pre-teen killed in water accidents

Marine Patrol said 56-year-old Jerome Marks was the man who died on Saturday.

Posted: May 26, 2019 3:23 PM
Updated: May 27, 2019 9:36 AM

ALEA Marine Patrol Troopers said the 12-year-old who died following the accident on Smith Lake was Christian Hart. 

They said he was "hit by a boat near the Goat Island area of Smith Lake. Hart had been tubing in the area prior to the crash."

Morgan County Rescue Squad responded to the boating incident on Lake Wheeler along with ALEA Marine Patrol. Morgan County Rescue Squad responded to the boating incident on Lake Wheeler along with ALEA Marine Patrol.

The investigation is ongoing.

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Marine Patrol Troopers confirmed that a 56-year-old Huntsville resident was the man who died following a jet ski accident on Wheeler Lake in Morgan County.

Troopers said Jerome Marks died after he fell off a jet ski on Saturday near Talucah Landing.

Investigators said Marks was not wearing a personal flotation device.

The ALEA Marine Patrol told WAAY 31 what happened to Jerome Marks in Wheeler Lake is not out of the ordinary, but having two boating accident deaths in one day, separated by a few hours, is a little abnormal.

People who were out on the water Sunday told WAAY 31 they take every precaution, because they know how dangerous it can be. 

Tommy Mazingo and his family have been enjoying the tennessee river for generations. They take the water seriously, "very dangerous, because you need to obey the letter of the law, make sure you got a life jacket on, especially if you're on a jet ski," said Mazingo.

The Marine Patrol said 56-year-old Jerome Marks was not wearing a life jacket at the time of his accident. WAAY 31 spoke with eyewitness about what happened. Marks was riding the jet ski around when, "he just kind of disappeared and we just saw the jet ski doing circles and we realized he wasn't on it anymore," said Sapphire Bright.

When Marks was found people pulled him on to a boat and performed CPR. One man in nursing school WAAY 31 talked with helped try to save him, "I took over for the nurse on the boat and started doing compression's for him. I tried for about four minutes until the paramedics showed up and them load him into the ambulance," said Randall Bragg.

The most recent available statistics from Marine Patrol show 17 people died in Alabama because of boating accidents in 2017. That is one reason the Mazingo family is so serious about safety, "we make sure they got life jackets on, especially the little kids. I know how to swim, but I'm still putting one on if I get there in a boat, or something like that," said Mazingo.

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