A 12-year-old from Norfolk, New York, died after he was struck by a propeller during a boating safety course at a Long Island yacht club.
At the Centerport Yacht Club early Tuesday afternoon, three students, all wearing life jackets, were taking part in a sailing class during which their boat was intentionally capsized into the water on the North Shore as part of the lesson, according to a statement released by the Suffolk Police Department.
During the exercise, two of the three children were able to remain in the boat. The 12-year-old was pulled out of the water by his 18-year-old instructor and put into the instructor’s inflatable Zodiac boat, which had an outboard motor.
When the instructor accelerated the boat, the 12-year-old boy fell into the water again and “became entangled in the propeller of the Zodiac,” the police statement read.
“The instructor pulled the boy back into the boat and performed CPR until EMTs arrived,” Suffolk Police Assistant Commissioner Justin Meyers explained in a press conference.
The child was taken to Huntington Hospital where he would later die from injuries to the chest.
The two other children did not receive medical aid, but the instructor was admitted to the hospital for shock. Police told local media outlets the instructor was “traumatized” by the events. “He’s in shock, he’s very upset, his family is with him,” Sgt. James Scimone of the Suffolk County Police said. “The instructor is a young instructor, and he did everything he was taught to do.”
“He’s in shock, he’s very upset, his family is with him,” Sgt. James Scimone of the Suffolk County Police said. “The instructor is a young instructor, and he did everything he was taught to do.”
Police say they are investigating the incident as an accident, but say no one is at fault.
The 12-year-old boy’s death marks the second time in two days a child was killed by a boat’s propeller. On Monday, a 12-year-old girl in New Hampshire was killed after she was run over by a power boat being driven by her father, local police said.
Founded in 1947, the Centerport Yacht Club runs a sailing school and camp, and provides Junior sailing classes for ages 5 and up. The facility operates more than 120 sailing yachts, including 50 power yachts and 70 power boats.