Damaged boat bought before being checked partially sinks at Quail Creek State Park

A member of Washington County Search and Rescue team helps bring a partially sunken boat to shore at Quail Creek Reservoir, Washington County, Utah, May 9, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — On Saturday afternoon, a boat at Quail Creek State Park partially sank on the east side of the lake. The boat’s seals were damaged and that resulted in the boat taking on water. Since the boat was filled with water, the rangers could not tow it to shore and Search and Rescue was called in to bring the boat out of the water.

“They put the boat in the water and all of the sudden, it just started taking on water,” Quail Creek State Park manager Candace Smith said. “They made it to shore on the east side where the white beaches are and by then, it was completely filled with water. It never sank to the bottom.”

There were no injuries but once Smith got to the boat she said it had too much water for her to bring it back back to shore. If she were to have tried to tow it, the boat would have completely sank.

When Smith realized she could not tow the boat, she got in touch with dispatch and then Search and Rescue was sent out. There was no gas or oil that leaked into the water from the boat but the dive team did have to attach inflated bags so the boat could rise above the water. This allowed the boat to be towed back to shore.

The boat had been sitting for a while when the owner bought it and Saturday was their first time on the water with it. The boat was bought from a gentleman who told the owners that he had not taken the boat out yet. Saturday was one of the ships first times in water after being on shore for most of its life. The boat was an older ski boat that had damages before the owners purchased it.

Members of Washington County Search and Rescue team help bring a partially sunken boat to shore at Quail Creek Reservoir, Washington County, Utah, May 9, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks, St. George News

Smith said that the owners did not take the boat out on the water before purchasing the boat and they did not realize the boat was damaged.

Smith described the incident as an easy situation in comparison to others she has seen.

“They made it to shore, they were completely fine,” Smith said. “We checked on them multiple times, made sure they had water and sunscreen, so they were perfectly fine. It wasn’t the normal stranded boat that starts to sink or gets damaged because the wind has brought it into the dam. It wasn’t stressful at all, they were okay, we were okay and we were able to take our time.”

With regards to buying a boat before taking it out on water, Smith said it is best to test out boats before buying them. She related it to a car. Have a boat checked out before purchasing it to make sure you are buying a boat that is ready to be on the water.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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