Sunken boat in Decatur has people stressing water safety

The owner of the boat's engine blew out, creating a big hole making the boat sink.

Posted: Sep 3, 2019 7:37 AM
Updated: Sep 3, 2019 3:14 PM

Labor Day was a busy day for rescue workers on the Tennessee River.

The Morgan County Rescue Squad had to pull a sunken boat out of the river near the Hard Dock Marina in Decatur after several people called 911.

The Morgan County Rescue Squad on Monday towed this wrecked boat found in the Tennessee River just East of the I-65 bridge in Decatur. No injuries were reported. (Morgan County Rescue Squad photo)

Investigators learned the boat's engine blew out and created a hole, causing the ship to sink.

There are no reports of any injuries… but WAAY-31 talked to boaters who point to accidents like this one to stress the importance of safety in the water.

There has been boat after boat on the water here at Hard Dock Marina the entire Labor Day weekend.

Some people told us that could create a huge problem with debris under water that you can't see ...

And with increased boat traffic, also create bigger waves, bringing things like logs with it.

"We left out at safe light. I spent the first 30 minutes dodging logs," said Craig Johnson, who was boating on Tennessee River.

Craig Johnson and his friend Ricky Parpolowizz have been out on the water all morning...

They told WAAY-31 summer holiday weekends can be dangerous on a boat.

"We got hundreds of boats out here today so, it's easy for someone not to see anything and just... It could get worse from there," said Parpolowizz.

But that's not the only thing that some people had to watch out for Monday morning.

The Morgan County Rescue Squad received multiple 9-1-1 calls of a sunken boat on the Tennessee River, with its nose barely above water.

The Alabama Marine Police told us the boat sunk due to mechanical issues Sunday evening and the owner left it there overnight.

"Driving a boat is like driving a car. The biggest problem is other drivers," said Johnson.

Johnson told us it's not just boaters… problems include jet-skiing, logs and debris.

"You gotta watch out for stuff like that too. It's not just boats that crash. I mean there's stuff floating in the water all day long," he said.

Other boaters told WAAY-31 anything could have gone wrong.

Especially if you're boating late at night, no matter if you know the area or not.

"It could get ugly, quick," said Parpolowizz.

The Alabama Marine Police told WAAY-31 the owner of the boat was driving and he got to safety quickly.

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