Several seriously injured after unmanned boat circles out of control

Cheryl Sanders
July 17, 2017

A Fort Wayne woman was released from jail Sunday after a Steuben County boating incident that threw almost a dozen people into a lake and left a runaway motorboat circling the lake at about 30 miles per hour, causing more damage and injury, officials said.

Multiple agencies - including IN conservation officers, the Steuben County Sheriff's Department and Parkview Samaritan helicopter - responded to Lake Gage about 7:15 p.m. Saturday on reports that several people were IN the water with serious injuries, the news release said.


Carlile was able to toss a rope into the water and entangle the runaway boat's propellor, according to the press release.

10 people suffered injuries after they were ejected from a boat in Indiana's Lake Gage on Saturday night.


Officers said that alcohol appeared to play a factor in the incident, and Effinger was arrested for boating while intoxicated and causing injury as well as being a minor in possession of alcohol. Among the 10 people injured in the incident, four were severely wounded. The boat's wild tear was captured on cellphone video. One person was believed to have a skull fracture and another a partial amputation of their lower arm. Two of them were airlifted to a Fort Wayne hospital while others were admitted to a hospital in Angola with non-life threatening injuries, according to DNR officials, WHTC in MI reported. It spun out of control, crashed into a dock, and then ran into the boat of Conservation Officer Jake Carlisle.

The Indiana officer who finally brought an out-of-control boat to a stop said the incident shows just how risky drunken boating can be. The boat strikes a pier before striking a boat. They weren't hurt. That hit though slowed the engine, and one of the officers was able to hop aboard and stop the boat.


The boat, a Correct Craft Ski Ski Nautique, was traveling at around 30mph when it threw the passengers off.

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