Ski Boat Wreck Probed
Morgantown Dominion Post
27 May 2015
By Alex Lang
An investigation continues into a Monday night boating accident in
which 12 people were injured.
None of their conditions were known Tuesday. There names have not
According to Division of Natural Resources (DNR) Spokesman Hoy
Murphy, the 12 were aboard a 23-foot Malibu Wakesetter, a ski
boat, when it struck a steep embankment and went onto the shore.
The boat seats 15 people. There were 12 young adults onboard,
according to Murphy. Investigators haven’t determined what caused
The accident occurred shortly before 9 p.m. as the boat was
traveling north in Cheat Lake, near Sunset Beach Marina.
Their injuries varied. Three people were taken by medical
helicopter to Ruby Memorial Hospital for treatment.
Cheat Lake Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jason Christopher said
those three were alert and conscious when loaded aboard the
HeathNet helicopter. Two others were taken by ambulance to the
hospital. Christopher described seven other occupants of the boat
as “walking wounded.”
The injuries included cuts and bruises. Some needed stitches,
Eventually all 12 were taken to hospitals for treatment, according
Christopher said none of the injuries are believed to be
The conditions of the injured were unknown, according to Murphy,
who did confirm there were no fatalities.
Fire crews, DNR officials, Monongalia County sheriff’s deputies
and other local boaters helped remove the victims from the scene
to an area where they could be treated, according to Murphy.
Christopher said they didn’t smell alcohol on any of the 12. He
also said there is typically enough light on the lake at that time
of night to see by.
There were initial reports that someone was impaled, but
Christopher said that wasn’t the case when they arrived. The
boat’s driver had a large cut, so he could have been struck and
then the item that struck him fell out or was removed, Christopher
The investigation continues into the incident. Murphy didn’t know
if the people involved were wearing life jackets, if the driver
was licensed or if the boat had lights.
State regulations do not require boaters over the age of 12 to
wear life preservers. They do require that there be one for each
person on the boat.
State regulations also require boat operators to obtain a safety
license and complete an educational program. The program includes
boating terms, regulations and how to respond to an emergency
The boat was still resting against the steep bank Tuesday
afternoon as investigators tended to the scene.