Boy Scouts work hard to achieve merit badges by learning how to survive in the wild and by helping others. While the program teaches boys how to handle real life situations, there are some things that just can’t be planned for.
South Texas experienced a tragedy on Saturday afternoon when three boy scouts were out on a sailboat. The boat hit a power line and sparked a fire. Two of the boys did not make it, and the third is in critical condition.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) said, “Preliminary investigations and observations indicates the vessel, a Catamaran sailboat, collided with an overhead transmission power line and those onboard may have been electrocuted as a result.”
Fox News reports:
Two Boy Scouts, ages 18 and 16, died at the scene, while an 11-year-old was critically injured and hospitalized in Shreveport, Louisiana, agency spokesman Steve Lightfoot said. Their names weren’t immediately released.
The catamaran was on fire, with sails up, when game wardens arrived, according to Lightfoot.
The 18-year-old was dead onboard and the 16-year-old was dead in the water, according to the TPWD release. “A third unresponsive 11-year-old victim was located in a boat nearby and was being provided CPR by good Samaritans,” the agency said.
All three of the Scouts were from Troop 620 in Hallsville and wore personal flotation devices.
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) August 6, 2017
Bystanders were able to bring the 11-year-old, who was unresponsive, onto a nearby boat and began performing CPR until authorities arrived.
East Texas Area Council CEO Dewayne Stephens said, “This is an extremely difficult time for our Scouting family. We are very sad to confirm the deaths of two youth participants following a boating incident. A third youth has been airlifted to an area hospital after sustaining injuries.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families. We will support them in any way that we can.”
Staff at LSU Medical Center-Shreveport, where the surviving scout was reportedly airlifted, was unable to confirm the patient was in their care or what his status was, but said because he is a minor, his parents might have requested his information be kept private.
The incident happened at Alley Creek, located on Lake O’ The Pines Marina near Avinger, Texas, just before 2 p.m. on Saturday, according to the press release.
The accident is being investigated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s statewide boating accident reconstruction and mapping team, according to the release.
Stephens thanks all who helped with the incident. He said, “I would like to thank the emergency teams who responded and assisted our Scouts and volunteers throughout this incident.”
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