Connecticut Teen Killed in Freak Boating Accident

2 girls in inner tube somehow fell, crashed into boat's propeller
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2014 8:55 AM CDT
Connecticut Teen Killed in Freak Boating Accident
Police and medical personnel work at the scene of a boating accident near the Old Greenwich Yacht Club at Greenwich Point, Conn., Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 6, 2014.   (AP Photo/Greenwich Time, Bob Luckey)

What was supposed to be a fun summer afternoon for four teenage girls turned tragic yesterday when a freak boating accident killed one 16-year-old and seriously injured another. Two of the teens from Greenwich, Conn., were in an inner tube being pulled by the other two teens in a boat on the Long Island Sound. According to some reports, the two girls apparently fell out of the tube and as the boat circled back to retrieve them, they were somehow struck by the propeller, the New York Times reports. Others, including the Greenwich Time, say the boat stopped suddenly and the tube didn't. "What exactly the maneuvers were, I couldn't tell you at this point," a police lieutenant tells ABC 7. "The girls were dislodged from the tube, and unfortunately, they became entangled in the prop of the vessel."

The two uninjured girls pulled their friends into the boat, and emergency workers met them when they docked at a nearby yacht club. "Our launch driver heard the screams, so he went out to investigate and found the girls in the water," says the club's commodore. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. "Sabrina had to pull her friend’s dead body out of the water," says the father of one of the girls, age 15, who was in the boat. "This would’ve been tough for a combat soldier, you know? These are teenaged girls." Neither of the victims has yet been named by police; the girl who survived had surgery for an injured leg and seems to be "doing well," according to the lieutenant. No charges have been filed, though police are still investigating; they say alcohol was not a factor, WFSB reports. "It was a beautiful day—perfect conditions," says the town's harbor master. "Then out of the blue, something horrific happened." (In Florida, a 15-year-old girl received a traumatic brain injury in a freak "sumo suit" accident.)

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