Lake Supervisor Travis Carroll reminds, "Boat smart, and boat safe!"

Big Bear Lake, CA — A boating incident that took place on Big Bear Lake last week has prompted a safety reminder from the Big Bear Municipal Water District, the agency that oversees recreation activity on the lake. In the evening hours last week, a party of four adults was on a pontoon boat on Big Bear Lake, celebrating the birthday of the boat’s driver, a man in his 40s from Los Angeles. One of the three women on board lost her hat and, in an effort to retrieve it, the man entered the lake at the rear of the vessel—however, he did not turn off the engine and may, too, have inadvertently put the boat in reverse. While he was in the water to retrieve the hat, the prop at the rear of the boat cut open his right leg, calf and foot which, though it did not sever an artery, did result in significant loss of blood. One of the female passengers wrapped his leg in a towel and used a belt as a tourniquet to reduce the bleeding, while 911 was called. Responders to the lakeshore, where the boat docked, included the MWD’s Lake Patrol, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and both the Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City Fire Departments. The victim was then flown to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center to undergo surgery and, we’ve since been told, his leg has been saved despite the severity of the injury. The accident investigation is being conducted by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. In a statement to KBHR, MWD’s Lake Operations Supervisor Travis Carroll says, “The Big Bear Municipal Water District would like to remind all boaters of the dangers of props and to remember to make sure your motor is always off when anyone is in the water. The California Department of Boating and Waterways reports several injuries and fatalities each year from prop-related injuries. Boat smart, and boat safe!”