Details of the Fatal Jet Ski Accident
- At about 6:55 a.m. on May 14 two fishermen reported finding a body near Lock and Dam No. 2 on Cape Fear River. Investigators responded and located a second body nearby.
- The victims have been identified as Thomas Bradley Carter, 30 and Charlotte Paige McLellan, 27.
- Investigators believe the two were involved in a jet ski accident that happened sometime after dark the prior evening. It is believed they were travelling upstream when their jet ski struck a tree that had blown into the river.
- Both victims were wearing life jackets.
Authorities noted that it is illegal to operate a jet ski between sun down and sun up.
Recreational Boat Accident Statistics
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) reports the following statistics:
- There were 4,062 accidents that resulted in 560 deaths and 2,620 injuries involving recreational boats in 2013.
- In 77% of those killed, the cause of death was ruled as drowning.
- 84% of drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.
- The primary factors involved in fatal boating accidents were: operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and machinery failure.