Officials said Friday that a 6-year-old child lost her life in a “tragic accident” after being unintentionally hit by a boat propeller at a lake in Arizona.
According to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, two families in a group of 12 people had been on a wakeboard boat on Lake Pleasant since 7 a.m. on Friday. One of the families called the police at 11 a.m. to report that their 6-year-old daughter had been hurt by the boat’s propeller.
The mother of the child was operating the boat when the collision occurred, and, “unbeknownst to the family, the child had somehow entered the water,” witnesses at the scene of the crash corroborated, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
When he spotted an unidentified person in the water, the child’s father, who was in the water while hanging onto a wakeboard, swam toward the body. According to the news release, the girl’s parents discovered their child in the water shortly after and that she had lost a limb due to the propeller of the boat.
The tweet below verifies the news:
A 6-year-old girl has died after being struck by her family's boat. She was found by her father. The mother was operating the boat. https://t.co/8tIpIy5A5o
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 31, 2023
Maricopa Other boats, according to Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez, assisted the family in transporting the youngster to the marina on the lake, where emergency personnel provided aid. Later, a local hospital declared her dead.
“We’re going to call this a tragic accident, if anything, and contributing factors that may have led to this incident is a lot of people on the boat,” Enriquez said in an update Friday.
Although the incident is still being investigated, Enriquez added that it doesn’t seem like intoxication was a part. A preliminary investigation, he continued, had revealed that the boat had all required safety gear, including life jackets and fire extinguishers.
Enriquez claims that the boat’s owners are also seasoned sailors. Enriquez claimed during initial interviews that the group might have “lost track of who was on the boat and who was not on the boat… because they were in different locations at the time, swimming and then wakeboarding and then vice versa.”
Northwest of Phoenix, there is a sizable outdoor recreation area called Lake Pleasant Regional Park. Wakeboarding, boating, and kayaking are prominent water sports activities that people frequently partake in at the lake.
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