Overloaded Rescue Boat Nearly Sinks At Roosevelt

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While trying to keep an accident victim stable on a backboard during a water transport Monday, a sheriff's boat took on water at Roosevelt Lake.

According to Lu DuBois, of the Gila County Sheriff's Posse, the victim of a water skiing accident had to be transported by boat to land and then to a waiting helicopter.

The patient, who had suffered a dislocated hip, had to be transported on a backboard. In an effort to keep the backboard stable too many emergency personnel were in the transport boat.

DuBois said the extra weight caused the back of the boat to go under water briefly, but the patient was successfully transported.

The accident occurred at about 1:30 p.m., Sept. 2, with the Posse, Lake Patrol officers, Posse EMTs and Tonto Basin Fire personnel all responding.

The Posse was on hand at the lake throughout the Labor Day weekend, according to DuBois.

The low level of lake kept visitor numbers down and consequently, activity was relatively quiet.

The posse had 16 members patrolling the lake area, all volunteers, who worked with the Lake Patrol Unit of the sheriff's department, along with Arizona Game and Fish and Forest Service officers. The group used three marked vehicles and two ATVs. The posse also was assisted by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in patrolling its portion of the lake.

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