Cayuga County (WSYR-TV) – The Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office rescued three people involved in a boating incident on Lake Ontario.
The Sheriff’s Office said that its Navigation Unit may have saved the lives of the three people on Saturday.
Sheriff’s Office personnel were patrolling the lake when they noticed a boat approaching from the east about a mile from shore.
As they approached, they saw two men in the water waving and yelling for help. Neither of the people in the water had floatation devices.
19-year-old Christopher Pritchard of Oswego wasn’t injured during the incident. But 22-year-old Matthew Pritchard, also of Oswego, had struck the craft’s prop with his ankle, nearly severing it.
A third person, 21-year-old Ashlie Crawford, was still in the boat, unconscious.
Sheriff’s Office personnel were told that the incident occurred when the boat veered to the left and threw the two males into the water. Crawford regained consciousness and stopped the boat’s engine.
The trio was taken to the Fair Haven State Park boat launch where medical personnel were waiting. Matthew Pritchard was taken to Upstate University Hospital where his foot was re-attached. Crawford was taken to Upstate University Hospital via helicopter where she is being treated for head and internal injuries.
They determined the cause of the incident was a mechanical failure that occurred when the steering cable came unhooked from the anchor point in the engine compartment, causing a sudden left turn while the boat moved at approximately 30 miles per hour.