ALEA Marine Patrol Troopers responded to a couple of boating incidents, making it a busy day for officials on the water, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
Troopers said two situations occurred: the first near Goat Island on Smith Lake and the second near Talucah Landing on Lake Wheeler.
Troopers are investigating a boat crash that occurred on Smith Lake near Goat Island around 6:20 p.m. The single vessel crash resulted in the death of 12-year-old Christian Hart from Vinemont. Investigators say Hart died when he was hit by a boat near the Goat Island area of Smith Lake. He had tubed in the area before the crash.
WHNT News 19 has also learned that a man has drowned after falling into the Tennessee River near Talucah Landing.
According to investigators, Jerome Marks, 56 of Huntsville, died when he fell off the personal watercraft. Troopers say Marks was not wearing a personal flotation device.
Joseph Clegg and his friends said they noticed something that didn’t seem right and tried to help.
“His ski was just circling so I pulled up close enough to just see him floating upside down so I grabbed him and flipped him over and then yelled at a boat to come over and help,” says Clegg.
On that boat was Beatriz Renew who is a registered nurse and sprung into action. She performed CPR on the man who officials believe had fallen off his jet ski. He could not be revived.
“My friend Chad, my husband, and another guy got him onto our boat and I immediately started CPR. He was full of water and I’m not quite sure how long he had been there,” says Renew.
Renew says she hopes people take the dangers of water activities seriously.
“If you’re out on the water, wear your life jacket because in this instance it would have saved his life,” says Renew.
Marine Patrol investigators continue to gather information on both incidents.