Boating accident injures Vernon man

A 21-year-old man suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries after falling off a boat on Okanagan Lake and being struck by propeller

A young Vernon man is lucky.

Vernon RCMP received a call Saturday at 9 p.m. from emergency health services personnel about a 21-year-old man who was injured after falling overboard and being struck by the propeller of a boat on Okanagan Lake near Paddlewheel Park.

“The injuries the man sustained were serious, to his ankle, leg and back, but non-life-threatening,” said Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.

Police learned that five friends were out boating on the lake and the injured man had been sitting on the boat’s bow.

The operator of the boat made a sharp turn to retrieve a wake boarder who had just fallen while being towed.

“As the boat turned, the victim fell off the front, went under the boat and was struck by the propeller,” said Molendyk.

“The man was quickly pulled into the boat and brought back to shore where EHS attended and transported him to Vernon Jubilee Hospital.”

Officers spoke to the five people on the boat, and they learned the driver was a 21-year-old from Vernon who was not impaired, and who held a valid boat operator’s card.

Police are continuing to investigate this file and are investigating if liquor may have contributed to the victim losing his balance.

“The police would like to remind everyone with the start of the boating season to think about safety on the water,” said Molendyk. “Sitting on the bow of a boat that is towing a skier may not the safest thing to be doing.”

The RCMP want everyone to enjoy themselves on the water this year.

“Just a reminder about wearing your life jackets and the consumption of liquor while out there,” said Molendyk.