An innocent boating excursion turned tragic recently for a boy scout troupe in Texas recently. Troop 620 from Hallsville, Texas headed out on a camping trip, and a part of the trip was getting to sail on catamarans. 11-year-old Thomas Larry was sharing a boat with 2 older teens, aged 16 and 17, according to CBS News. At one point, the boat came into contact with a power line that was hanging close to the water. Larry and one of the teens were thrown out of the boat by the shock. A Scout leader immediately headed to the burning boat from shore when it was obvious that they were in trouble, but there sadly wasn’t much he could do. The older boys had died almost immediately, but Larry was scooped up in another boat and taken to the hospital. He sadly passed away after a couple of days.
An investigation is ongoing to determine why the power lines were hanging where it was in the first place. Not only was it overhanging water, which is unusual, but it was also hanging low enough to make contact with boats and other watercraft. Upshur Rural Electric Cooperative, which manages and maintains the power lines in the area, has said they are cooperating with the investigation and will help in any way they can.
Despite this tragic accident, scouting is a relatively safe program. There are possibly thousands of scout trips all over the country every year where nothing happens other than a few scraped knees and maybe some poison ivy rashes.
A massive vigil was held the night after the accident in honor of the two who had died, and for Larry who was in critical condition. Scouts and community members gathered to remember those they had lost and sang Amazing Grace under threat of rain. There was also a GoFundMe account set up for Larry and his family to help with medical bills.
With all the safety precautions you need to take to go boating, a low-hanging power line was probably not high on the list of potential hazards for these scouts. To keep safe, boaters must always check their boat and equipment to make sure it functions properly. Safety jackets must also be worn at all times while on a boat to prevent drowning. No matter what kind of boat you use, make sure you have someone experienced operating it. Almost 70% of boating accidents happen because of operator error.
Getting injured in any kind of accident, boating or otherwise can be painful physically, of course, but also mentally. It can be hard to navigate the insurance claims, the police reports, or any other paperwork or task that needs to be done. A personal injury lawyer in Alabama can help guide you through the process of filing a claim and determining the best strategy to get compensation for any injury or damages you’ve incurred. Make sure to contact one as soon as possible for a free consultation.

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