Officials fighting for increased safety after rental boats collide on Lake George

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Renewed concerns over boating safety on Lake George after yet another collision on the water.

The New York State Park Commission, which is investigating, says it was eerily similar to the crash that killed an 8-year-old little girl last month.

A sergeant with the Lake George Park Commission says it was a collision between two rental boats. The offending driver was too busy paying attention to the tuber behind him and not enough to what was right in front of him.

“He did have an observer, but he wasn’t letting the observer do his job,” Sgt. Shane Ross said. “He was looking backward and when he turned forward to see where he was going there was a boat in his path and they struck.”

This yellow rented Sea Ray, with its propeller now ripped off went sailing across the stern of the other rented boat. It tossed Brock Wilson of Ardsley, N.Y. onto the floor.

“The propeller went behind the back seat,” Sgt. Shane Ross said. “Pure luck [saved him]. We are just so lucky that we didn’t have another personal injury or fatal accident.”

Sgt. Ross is talking about a crash in July where an 8-year-old girl was killed. Police say alcohol is suspected in that crash, but not in Saturday’s.

Of much concern to him is the increasing rental boat traffic on the water.

“You can be 18 years old and get behind the wheel of a boat first time.”

Case in point, the operator of this rented pontoon, that Sgt. Ross tried to protect from an incoming steamboat.

“He was in the path of the incoming Minnie Ha-Ha.”

Sgt. Ross says in this case, there was a language barrier.

“You get people from all over the world and many don’t speak English. Yet they’ll rent a boat and the people at the dock and marina have to do their best to breach that language barrier and teach them in a few short minutes how to drive that boat and be safe about it.”

The driver, Aqib Jaweed, of New Jersey, is facing a misdemeanor charge of reckless operation.

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