Overhead cables cause two deaths…

Another US Scuttlebutt story reminds me of when I sailed at Wembley Sailing Club on The Welsh Harp alongside the North Circular Road.

The boat park at Wembley SC was opposite the clubhouses and poles alongside the boat park carried cables.

The Scuttlebutt story recounts the nasty situation where a boat mast touched an overhead power cable, apparently electrocuting two boys.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department says the accident happened yesterday afternoon at the Alley Creek area of Lake O’ The Pines near Avinger, 150 miles east of Dallas.

Agency spokesman Steve Lightfoot today said that Boy Scouts ages 18 and 16 died at the scene, while an 11-year-old was critically injured and hospitalized in Shreveport, Louisiana. Their names weren’t immediately released.

All were from Troop 620 in Hallsville and wore personal flotation devices. Lightfoot says the Hobie catamaran was on fire, with sails up, when game wardens arrived shortly before 2:00pm.

Wardens discovered an 18-year-old male on board and a 16-year-old in the water a short distance away. Both victims suffered severe bodily injuries and were deceased. A third unresponsive 11-year-old victim was located in a boat nearby and was being provided CPR by good Samaritans.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s statewide boating accident reconstruction and mapping team are investigating the incident. However, Lightfoot says the preliminary investigation indicates the sailboat came in contact with the power line.

I feel very sorry for the three boys involved in the above story and wonder how – and why – in these enlightened days, power cables are allowed anywhere near boats and masts.

In my days at Wembley I sailed a Firefly, which had a Reynolds aluminium mast. I – and others – often wondered if those cables at Wembley SC carried power…

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