Recent calls for responsible boating have been reinforced by two people who suffered significant injuries caused by wakes on the river in the last couple weeks.
Both injured people were hurt when their boats hit wakes and threw the individuals into the air. The Pioneer Press reports:
On the Fourth of July, a 53-year-old woman from Albion, Iowa, suffered a serious back injury about 6:40 p.m. while boating with her husband near the Allen S. King plant in Oak Park Heights. According to police reports, the couple’s boat struck “a large, rolling wave, approximately 6 feet high … tossing (her) up in the air and then back onto the chair, landing on her back.” The woman was taken by ambulance to Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater.
About a week earlier, on June 29, a 56-year-old Chippewa Falls, Wis., woman was also taken to Lakeview Hospital for treatment of injuries after the boat her husband was operating hit the wake of another boat about 10:30 p.m.
The woman was in the bow area of the boat, “which was operating at cruising speed, when the boat hit the wake of another boat causing it to become slightly airborne and causing the victim to be tossed into the air and land back in the boat,” the police report states.– Officials warn boaters to slow down on St. Croix River after 2 seriously injured
Wakes not only can injure people and damage property, they can also wash away beaches and cause increased sediment in the river.
While some people in Stillwater and at Sunnyside Marina have requested new no-wake zones on the river, the Department of Natural Resources is for now asking boaters to be safe and responsible, and promoting an education campaign.
It’s illegal to operate a watercraft so that its wake “endangers, harasses or interferes with any person or property.”