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Calaveras County Sheriff's Office
Friday June 14th, 2024 :: 10:33 a.m. PDT


Media Release

Boating Accident, Lake Camanche
            On June 10, at about 1:00 PM, Deputies from the Calaveras County Marine Safety Division and Camanche Recreation Company (East Bay Municipal Utility District) staff were dispatched to a report of a boating accident on Lake Camanche near the Moccasin Campgrounds.   Upon arrival, deputies learned the incident occurred while a personal watercraft was towing a person on an inflatable tube.  The operator of the boat was having some difficulty adequately securing the tow rope to the rear of the watercraft and the tow rope unexpectedly detached multiple times while the boat was in motion.  
After the last unplanned detachment, the person was in the water and was coiling the rope around his arm as the operator circled around to pick him up.   As the watercraft was completing the circle, the non-floating tow rope was sucked up into the intake of the water propulsion system. Personal watercraft have a propulsion system typically consisting of a jet pump that draws water in and forces the water out at a high velocity.   The victim's arm was pulled to the bottom of the watercraft and became entangled.  The victim was able to keep his head above water while his friends activated 911. 
The Marina Manager from the Camanche Recreation Company Staff Member was first on the scene to render aid.  The manager jumped into the water to cut the rope, freeing the victim.  The manager transported the victim to an awaiting ambulance at the boat ramp.  The victim was transported to a Valley hospital for treatment of their injuries. 
Boating can be safe if you follow proven boating tactics. The following tips are from our Marine Safety deputies.

  • Take a Boating Safety Course.
  • Be alert of your surroundings.
  • Know the Nautical Rules of the Road.
  • Wear a Life Jacket.
  • Never Drink and Drive a Boat.
  • Be aware of where lines are in the water and avoid running over them.
  • Use flotation-style water sports lines when towing persons.
  • Always wear a life jacket.
  • If you feel something get sucked into the jet of a ski jet, immediately turn it off or pull the kill switch.

Calaveras County Sheriff's Office
Jeff Tuttle Dr
San Andreas, CA 95249

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 209-754-6500

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