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Woman injured in Harlan County Reservoir accident

LINCOLN, Neb. – A 60-year-old Kenesaw woman was injured and hospitalized following a collision of two personal watercraft July 4 at Harlan County Reservoir.

The woman and a 33-year-old male relative from Kearney each was operating personal watercraft. As they accelerated to leave Patterson Harbor on the lake’s south shore, the female was struck from behind by the male operator, throwing her into the water.

The female was transported to Phelps County Memorial Health Center in Holdrege.

The male, who was not injured, was cited for No Boater Safety Education. Boater education is required of all boat operators, including those of personal watercraft, born after Dec. 31, 1985.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission conservation officers are investigating the incident, which was reported at 2:30 p.m. Alcohol is not suspected to be a contributing factor.

Game and Parks has the following safety reminders for boaters:

• Be aware of the presence of other boats, swimmers, skiers and tubers, as they could be coming from any direction.

• Maintain a safe distance between your vessel and other vessels and operate only at safe speeds for the conditions.

• All vessels must operate at a maximum of 5 mph with no wake within 30 yards of any other vessel, harbor, landing pier, marina, fishing pier, anchorage or bathing beach.

• Make sure that your vessel has all of the required safety equipment. Personal flotation devices are required for every passenger and must be worn at all times by personal watercraft operators and any youth under the age of 13. Have the proper equipment necessary to towing skiers and tubers.

• Know the rules on the water body you are boating.

• Avoid alcohol when boating.

• Keep an eye on the weather.

For more information on boating in Nebraska, visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/boating.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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