Shasta Lake Boating Accident
50-year-old Robert Noftz was on the lake with his boat with 5 juvenile children Monday evening. The group was pulling each other around the water on inner-tubes. At the time of the accident, the victim was in the water being pulled on the tube while the boat was helmed by another juvenile female. According to the Sheriff’s report, the boy in the water challenged the girl steering to try and knock him off. The girl responded by attempting sharp turns and maneuvers to throw the victim off of his tube. During this, she turned the boat too sharply and ran into her own wake which turned the boat even more.
The wake ended up turning the boat so much that it actually placed the vessel on a course headed straight for the boy. The boy panicked and abandoned the inner-tube to try and escape. The girl was unable to avoid the victim in time and struck him with the bow of the boat as they passed over him. The boy never surfaced behind the boat and is still missing. He was wearing a life jacket approved by the Coast Guard and that was found after the accident with damage similar to that done by a boat propeller.
Shasta County Sheriff’s officers and the California Highway Patrol joined forces to look for the missing boy. The Sheriff’s office sent a Dive Team and Boating Safety Unit while the Highway Patrol used a helicopter to maximize the search area to help in the recovery of the victim.
Boating Under the Influence
Robert Noftz was arrested and put in county jail after investigators discovered he was under the influence of alcohol while out on the boat. He is being held responsible for the accident and most likely charged with negligence because he was the only one on the boat over the age of 16. When a boat is operated by someone under 16-years-old then California State Law requires them to be supervised by an individual who is 18 or older. This placed command of the boat onto Robert Noftz, and because he was inebriated at the time, he can be charged with boating under the influence and possibly the young boy’s death even though he was not steering the boat at the time of the accident. We don’t know for sure if this could have been prevented if Noftz had been sober but there might have been a different outcome. Because alcohol clouds judgment, if Robert had not been drinking he might have realized that the girl at the helm was too inexperienced to try and knock the boy off the tube, and therefore, taken over control of the vehicle.
Shasta Lake Boating Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Shasta Lake Boating Accident Lawyer. Our hearts go out to the victim’s family and everyone else involved with this horrific accident. Please give me a call if you or someone you love needs legal counsel for this or any similar situation at 530-392-9400 or 800-404-5400. I have been serving the Shasta County for 35 years with excellent representation in personal injury, motor vehicle accident, and boat accident cases.
My website, autoaccident.com is one of the most informational for accidents and personal injury in Northern California.
I am also a forum member of Million Dollar Advocates.
Check out other articles on my blog about boating accidents:
- Ukiah Fatal Boating Accident
- Lake Shasta Boating Accident Injures Man
- Father Missing after Boating Accident in Pittsburg
Image Source: By Florence Low – Wikimedia Commons
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