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Fatal boat collision in Trout Lake
RCMP investigating accident that killed 77-year-old woman

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, May 23, 2013

A collision between two boats has claimed the life of a 77-year-old woman in Trout Lake.

According to a press release from the RCMP, the accident occurred on Island River just outside of the community at approximately 4:30 p.m. on May 22. The boats collided while they were travelling towards each other on the river that flows past the community.

The woman was a passenger in an 5.5-metre Lund boat with a 60 horsepower motor. She was revived with CPR at the scene of the accident and was transported to the community where she later died due to her injuries at the health clinic. Her identity hadn't been released as of May 23.

The other two people in the Lund boat, a 73-year-old man and an eight-year-old girl were unharmed. The 46-year-old male driver of the jet boat involved in the collision was medevaced to Yellowknife's Stanton Territorial Hospital for non life-threatening injuries. All of the people involved in the accident are residents of Trout Lake.

RCMP are investigating the incident and looking for any violations of the criminal code or small vessel regulations.

"At this point, we don't have the specifics," said Staff Sgt. Brad Kaeding of the Yellowknife RCMP, about what may have caused the collision.

The RCMP will be examining if speed was a factor or if alcohol was involved, he said. It's not currently known if the four people involved in the accident were wearing life jackets.

The RCMP will also be looking to determine if all of the proper safety precautions were in place and if they weren't, if they would have made a difference, Kaeding said. With ice coming off the lakes and rivers, people are eager to get out in their boats and may not be as cautious as they should be, he said.

"We feel it is very important to follow proper boating safety," said Kaeding.

Life jackets are the most essential piece of safety equipment in a boat, he said. There must be enough life jackets that fit, have enough buoyancy and are in good condition for everyone in the boat. It's not, however, enough to just have the life jackets in the vessel.

"People should be wearing life jackets," Kaeding said.

The water in lakes and rivers is very cold right now and if people fall in without their life jacket on, they many not have the opportunity to use them, he said.

Boats and motors should also be in good working order and boaters should have a back-up plan such as a GPS, a SPOT device or satellite phone with them and let someone know where they are going, said Kaeding.

The RCMP are also reminding boaters that alcohol and drugs don't mix when operating any pleasure craft.

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