Boating accidents on the Chain of Lakes


A look at the aftermath of one of the boat accidents. photo courtesy of Dean William

There were two boating accidents in the past week on the Chain of Lakes, according to the Hamburg Township Police Department, with some injuries in both and one having two people transported to the hospital.

The Huron River Chain of Lakes includes Little Portage, Portage, Baseline, Zukey, Strawberry, Whitewood, Gallagher, Ore and Tamarack Lake.

The first boating incident came on Aug. 8, according to Hamburg Township Police Chief Richard Duffany. At 3:20 a.m. that morning, Hamburg Township Police and Fire personnel along with Livingston County EMS were dispatched to an injury accident involving a watercraft on the north end of Gallagher Lake.

“Upon arrival, officers found a 2021 Tracker boat crashed into a small island approximately 100 feet off of shore with two injured persons in it,” Duffany told The Sun Times News in an email response on Aug. 15.

He said first responders used a Hamburg Township Police Department patrol boat to reach the injured parties.

Both people (a 31-year old male Putnam Township resident and a 27-year old female resident of Mississippi) were subsequently transported to the University of Michigan Hospital- Ann Arbor for non-life threatening injuries, according to Duffany.

“Investigation revealed that the male was the operator of the boat at the time of the crash,” said Duffany. “Alcohol appears to be a contributing factor in the crash and we are awaiting toxicology results before sending the matter to the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office for review for possible charges.”

The second incident happened the evening of Aug. 14, at 6:54 p.m. when Hamburg Township Police and Fire personnel were dispatched to a boating accident involving a boat and a jet-ski on Zukey Lake.

Duffany said the initial investigation revealed that a 20-ft GM Malibu open bow ski boat (operated by a 57-year old Hamburg Township resident) was pulling a male subject on a wake-board on Zukey Lake when it was struck on the starboard side by a jet-ski (operated by an 18-year old female Putnam Township resident).

“Two male passengers in the boat were ejected from the boat into the water as a result of the impact,” said Duffany. “The operator of the boat, the operator of the jet-ski and one of the passengers on the boat suffered minor injuries, but all declined to be transported to a hospital. The boat and jet-ski both sustained significant damage. Alcohol was not a contributing factor in the accident and the investigation is on-going.”

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