LINCOLN, Neb. – A citizen of the Ukraine was cited with negligent boat operation by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in connection with an incident at Pawnee State Recreation Area on Aug. 7.
Valentyn Siny, 37, was operating a personal watercraft that collided with two females on separate tubes being pulled by a boat. Game and Parks investigated the incident, which occurred at approximately 5 p.m. north of the main swimming area on Pawnee Lake.
The females, ages 14 and 51, were treated for minor injuries and released from a hospital. Both are from Lincoln. Both were wearing life jackets.
The boating incident was the 18th reported to Game and Parks this year. There were 28 reported by this time in 2012. There have been no boating-related fatalities in 2013, compared to eight all of last year. The state has averaged five fatalities a year since the mid-1960s.
Herb Angell, the state’s boating law administrator, believes diligent law enforcement and boater education have resulted in fewer incidents this year.
He says years of stressing the use of life jackets plays a big role, too. “Last year, five of the eight fatalities could have been saved if they were wearing life jackets,” Angell said. “Like car seatbelts, they don’t work if you don’t wear them.”
To learn about boater education, or to sign up for a class, visit BoatSafeNebraska.org.