Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tragic boat accident

A tragic accident.

Life is so precious and in a moment is gone.

While there is always hope; my sympathy goes out to her family.

The search continues


Investigators continued to search Canyon Lake Monday for a San Antonio woman still missing after a Sunday-evening boating accident.

Morgan Clark, 20, was ejected from a boat after the driver lost control around 6 p.m. Sunday. She was not wearing a life jacket and has not been seen or heard from since, leading investigators to acknowledge they were now in the process of looking for her body.

“We are making every possible effort to (locate her),” said Captain Danny Villalobos with Texas Parks and Wildlife, which has jurisdiction in the incident. “We normally stay out here until we are able to locate the body.”

Texas Parks and Wildlife officials and Comal County Sheriff’s deputies conducted boat patrols in the waters between Jacob’s Creek Park and Comal Park all day Monday where the accident occurred, while a helicopter provided by the Department of Public Safety circled the area.

Robert Gilson, 68, was pulling two people on a tube behind his 22-foot 1998 Blue Wave motorboat when he lost control around 6 p.m. Sunday. The boat took a sudden turn, ejecting him and two passengers, including Clark.

The unpiloted boat circled around and struck Gilson, seriously injuring him. He and the others were rescued by a civilian boat and taken to Canyon Lake Marina. Gilson was treated by Canyon Lake Fire/EMS before being airlifted to University Hospital in San Antonio.

Investigators do not know why Gilson lost control of the boat, which was later recovered undamaged. Search teams dispatched immediately to find Clark. Efforts were called off at dark and resumed Monday morning.

Murky water prevented divers with the New Braunfels Police Department from assisting with the search Monday morning. Villalobos said search efforts would be called off at dark, to be resumed again Tuesday morning at daylight.

Brent Satsky, Comal County game warden, is conducting the investigation into the accident. He said the severity of Gilson’s injuries has prevented him from interviewing him about the accident.

Gilson was listed as critical but stable Monday evening.

The search for Clark will resume Tuesday with the assistance of S.M.A.R.T., a dive team with the South Hays County Fire Department. They will provide a sonar imaging system to be used in the search area, which is over 100 feet deep in some places.

Villalobos said if the young woman is not found in the next few days, a decision will be made when to scale down search efforts.