Archive for Wednesday, June 24, 2009

No one injured in boating emergency at Clinton Lake

A severe storm brought a scary situation for several boaters at Clinton Lake.

June 24, 2009


Emergency crews were called to boaters in distress at Clinton Lake shortly after 6:45 p.m. Wednesday.

Five men were aboard a pontoon boat when four of them went swimming, a spokesman for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said. The storm caused the boat to drift away from the swimmers with one man left aboard.

The four swimmers were able to get back to shore safely.

Emergency crews launched a rescue boat, but before they arrived at the scene, a civilian boat had towed the pontoon boat back to the marina.

No one was injured in the incident.


gsxr600 8 years, 11 months ago

I guess no one did the responsible thing to check the weather forecast before heading out.

KS 8 years, 11 months ago

gsxr600 - I am assuming that is an uneducated guess on your part. How do you know?

cowboy 8 years, 11 months ago

Hey Bevis Why don't we go get hammered at the lake today Butthead cool dude Bevis Did you buy gas Butthead ahhh , uhhh , gas yeah thats funny , i got gas ,

gccs14r 8 years, 11 months ago

Maybe one of the swimmers had the keys with him. Interesting that shore was closer than the boat, though.

Susan Mangan 8 years, 11 months ago

There HAS to be more to this story. I'm disappointed I decided not to go boating today, although the dark boiling clouds to the north (racing south at 25!) would have led me to dock before the storms hit. That had to be amusing to watch. Personally, I've never known a boater taking the keys out of the ignition when they stop to swim. But maybe they were afraid the "one man left aboard" would leave them behind??

Susan Mangan 8 years, 11 months ago

Seriously...LJW...can you do some kind of follow-up on this one because I ended the story with more questions than when I began.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 11 months ago

cowboy (Anonymous) says…

Hey Bevis Why don't we go get hammered at the lake today Butthead cool dude Bevis Did you buy gas Butthead ahhh , uhhh , gas yeah thats funny , i got gas ,

---ROTFL! yes, DIST, I wondered the same thing.

I mentioned this incident on the storm thread.

one of the valiant vikings was reported to be tossing his cookies, but apparently he refused treatment.

gccs14r 8 years, 11 months ago

LOL. Nothing like a little Bud barf after boating.

imastinker 8 years, 11 months ago

Stupid - Stupid - Stupid.

Clinton's not that big a lake. Anyone paying attention should have had planty of time to get off the lake before that hit. It got dark and scary half an hour before it actually started.

brm08 8 years, 11 months ago

I live out on Clinton Pkwy by First Serve Tennis so I heard/saw all of the emergency vehicles heading to the lake (didn't know where they were heading at first). They sent 3-4 fire trucks and some other emergency vehicles at first. Then, I saw an emergency vehicle pulling 2 rescue boats heading out that way, so I knew something was going on at the lake. After reading this story, however, I'm confused as to why it took 3-4 fire trucks?!?!?

gsxr600 8 years, 11 months ago

From the time of the story, the weather was already due to roll in way before that, so no they weren't wise in their decision to stay out on the lake that long.

imastinker 8 years, 11 months ago

Maybe they were going to pump the water out of the lake so these guys wouldn't drown?

HootyWho 8 years, 11 months ago

"Did i say that" needs to shut up about CLO or Cottonwood residents,,,didn't have a thing to do with the story,,, that was offensive,,,hope it was just a lapse in judgement,,,

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 11 months ago

I agree with HootyWho, these posts are getting more and more offensive. Why this need to insult people?

Bob Bowles 8 years, 11 months ago

No matter the circumstances 5 families avoided a tragedy. Cowboy, bearded_gnome and gccs14r you think this is funny and assume that there was alcohol involved. Unless you have psychic powers and know something no one else does there was no mention of alcohol being related to this accident. I can only assume you are basing your comments on your own personal experience and behavior. You are the ones I would call Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

balls123 8 years, 11 months ago

By the way, I'm one of the 5 survivors and the only thing I can say is that no one can truly understand our situation unless you were there. We anchored the boat about 100 meters from Bloomington Beach, swam there (without life jackets, which was the biggest mistake we made), and headed back 5 minutes within our arrival because the sky had grown significantly darker within literally ten minutes (one of my buddies stayed back on the boat to watch it). We were about half way back to the boat when in a split second extremely strong winds hit the lake that began creating significantly large waves; anywhere from 4-6 footers. I have never seem a storm hit that fast in my life. But anyway, the four of us in the water were screaming at our fellow still on the boat to come get us and when we finally connected back up with him after this whole tragedy we found that the boat battery was dead and he couldn't even start it! So at this point the boat is floating away from us fast (the winds even pulled up the anchor), and the four of us in the water are separating quickly and fighting for our lives to swim back in to shore. Eventually three of us were able to reunite on the shore of Bloomington Beach. However, our fourth man was still stranded out in the strong wind and waves, drifting farther and farther away. At this point 911 was called and a ranger came and asked us where we last saw him in the water. We pointed about a half mile or so down the lake and he took off in that direction. Eventually he was found passed out along the shore, and given medical assistance (this is when the ambulance arrived). When the three of us reunited with him, he told us he had had a near death experience, and at one point even accepted death as his fate. This was the severity of our situation that no one realized: we were being violently tossed around by the wind and waves taking all the energy out of us and dipping our heads underwater every few seconds. It was a very difficult struggle to make it to shore, and we are all truly lucky to be alive. The utter panic and being alone in the water running purely on adrenaline was one of the most scary moments of my life. As far as the one on the boat, he eventually managed to meet up with another boater who was able to tow my families boat back to the marina. Everybody that was out on the lake at this time was screwed (and there were several, we weren't the only "idiots"), and nobody had near enough time to react to the vicious winds that were coming in. Of course our mistake was not initially checking the forecast, but I had obtained my parent's permission to take the boat out that day so I guess I just assumed the weather would be just peachy; apparently not! Anyways, hope this cleared things up for some people

gccs14r 8 years, 11 months ago

Glad you guys made it back safely. Sorry for having poked fun at you.

KansasPerson 8 years, 11 months ago

Did_I_say_that wins for "most disingenuous post."

balls123, even if you'd checked the weather forecast you might not have been aware of how bad it was going to be. We were having dinner at the time and we'd been monitoring the Weather Channel and our weather radio at the same time, because the sky kept getting darker and darker (mostly to our north). The weather report kept saying that the t-storm warning was north and east of us. We were outside in the front yard when the wind hit, and it just got stronger and stronger. Went back in and watched it get even darker outside. Finally, as the rain began to fall, a t-storm warning was issued for our county.

I totally understand how a storm can sneak up on you. It might not be enough to just watch the sky or even just listen to the weather radio -- in some cases, it's best to do everything you can! Did you have a pretty good view to the north from where you were anchored? (I don't know where Bloomington Beach is.)

Agree that life jackets are a good idea. Next time you'll know.

And don't forget, it was not a tragedy -- you are all okay physically, yes? Though I'm sure you'll be a bit shaken up for a while. Close call!!

sherbert 8 years, 11 months ago

So were you all teenagers? You 'had your parents permission'?

gogoplata 8 years, 11 months ago

Hell, I've swam from the marina over to that beach they were filming from. After a night of drinking at the Ranch. Ah, memories.

Joe Hyde 8 years, 11 months ago

For what this is worth, I repeatedly checked the on-line National Weather Service radar image and forecast yesterday afternoon on almost an hourly basis. Due to some kind of glitch in the system, I've been unable lately to get the "loop" image that shows cloud formations in motion.

So when I noticed a storm system forming up to the north of Topeka, I assumed it would do the usual thing and move to the northeast...away from Lawrence. Wrong: once I switched to the AccuWeather radar loop I saw that the storm was moving southeast, directly toward Lawrence.

Point being, even if "balls123" and his buddies had checked the NWS weather conditions immediately before launching their boat, they'd have seen the same tame-looking forecast (20% chance of rain) I saw, and they'd also have seen the same radar image I did.

Yesterday's storm was one of those deals where so much heat/humidity energy was in the atmosphere that a rapidly-forming locally severe storm was likely. But it was also likely, statistically, that no storm at all would have happened. So you roll the dice.

Of the many canoe camping trips I've done on the Kaw River, twice I've been surprised by violent storms the forecasters didn't predict. Kansas weather can ambush you; that's no joke. It's great that yesterday's lake incident proved to be only a nasty, close call in which all hands survived. Because judging from the strokes that kept hitting here in town, out on the lake they were lucky lightning didn't kill them all. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 11 months ago

Balls123, the article didn't reflect any of what you describe, i.e. the third guy with near death experience.
yesterday at the time we were under a severe thunderstorm watch.
and at 6pm my dog was already warning me of the storm coming.

I have to say "if" because sometimes people post on here claiming to be involved in these incidents who actually are not: but if what you say is true, I am sincerely glad you all got out of the lake safe.
next time, a little more care could save your life, i.e. check out the boat before you go out in it, take a portable weather radio with you on the lake, now they're pretty cheap.

sorry about poking fun at you, it was based on what was in the article.

DoUntoOthers 8 years, 11 months ago

Let he/she who has never made a mistake cast the first stone. Lets count our blessings as a community that no lives were lost. Why do some people have to be so quick to criticize, especially when it involves total speculation?

bearded_gnome 8 years, 11 months ago

should have added to my previous post: we were also under a severe thunderstorm warning from like 6;35p.m. don't remember exact time. This should've started these fellas off the lake then.

I am glad nobody got hurt. if somebody had, most of us wouldn't have joked about it, I'm sure.

Beo, you bring in George Bush on this thread? you really do need help.

balls123 8 years, 11 months ago

Seriously, do you guys have anything better to do than sit around on an internet blog and argue/ talk sh** about an article you can only make assumptions about? The only reason I have spoken my word here is because I was involved with this incident, believe it or not. Get a life.

hawkfan188 8 years, 11 months ago

Did_I_say_that (Anonymous) says…

balls123 (Anonymous) says… “Seriously, do you guys have anything better to do than sit around on an internet blog and argue…”

Do you realize how oxymoronic that question is?

Oxymoronic? I think not. You're confused. A term like "contradictory" or "hypocritical" would be much more applicable. To help you out, an oxymoron implies conflicting and opposite terms, not ideas. I'd suggest picking up a dictionary next time you're out from in front of the computer; they're helpful in situations like this, in case a similar instance of confusion strikes you.

Regardless of your error, "balls123" merely seems to be attempting to set the record straight where LJWorld came up short. Let's just be thankful we're not four or five lives short today.

nclaker 8 years, 11 months ago

"Tend to think you are just an un-educated HS dropout. Maybe just a right wing evangelical christian compassionate conservative. Like your beloved W."

So beobachter while you are quick to accuse and attack others of disparaging a group of people you personally have no qualms about disparaging millions of HS droupouts and half the county that voted for "W", eh?

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