NORTHPORT, Ala. (WIAT) — Authorities have identified the Northport man who was killed Monday night in a boating accident on Lake Tuscaloosa. His passenger 38-year-old Scott Turner is in critical condition being treated at the hospital.
Boater Kelly Smith heard about the boating accident and is not taking any chances with her family. Smith spent Tuesday afternoon on the water and is making sure she has every safety device on her boat to keep her family safe.
“We have the fog horn, buoy and safety jackets for everybody aboard. Make sure the cell phones are charged in case anything happens. We have a back-up battery for the trolling motor, just making sure your safe on the water while your having fun,” Smith said.
Authorities say the incident happened just after 10 p.m. Monday night near Country Club Drive in Northport. Robert Regan’s bass boat struck a sea wall on the shoreline ejecting him from the boat. Rescue crews spent two hours searching for the missing boater. But rescue efforts later turned into a recovery. Reagan’s body was found by divers underwater just after midnight. The victim was not wearing a life jacket.
Marty McElroy from Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue says there are lessons that can be learned from a tragedy like this.
“Make sure your a licensed driver and not impaired by alcohol or drugs and have situational awareness and slow down. We have high traffic areas so make sure if you travel the water at night that you do it safely and make sure you wear your personal flotation devices,” McElroy said.
The preliminary investigation from Alabama Law Enforcement Agency indicates that alcohol may have been a contributing factor.