Buck Creek State Park boating accident

Tubing crash second serious accident at Buck Creek this season

An incident involving two tubers was the second serious water accident at Buck Creek State Park this month.

Two park-goers were tubing on CJ Brown Dam and Reservoir when they crashed, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Spokesman Eric Heis said, and one of the victims suffered a concussion.

He said the two people hit their heads during the crash.

The tubing crash prompted a large number of emergency responders to arrive at the scene, including CareFlight.

It is the second time an emergency has taken place on the water this year. The first was when 22-year-old Caleb Diviak was found unresponsive in the water after a jet ski accident on June 9.

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Diviak died of his injuries.

A woman who’s been coming to Buck Creek State Park for nearly a decade said Sunday it’s unusual to hear about multiple incidents in the same year.

In the eight years Gayle Sarff has been coming to the park, she said there’s typically only one incident a year.“It’s very unusual to have two in one year,” said said.“I heard a bunch of sirens and I didn’t think anything of it until I saw a medical helicopter come this way,” Sarff said.

She said the scene was similar to two weeks ago when Diviak was found unresponsive.

Though he was wearing a life jacket, Sarff said it’s not common to see anyone younger than 16 wear one.

“People aren’t paying attention,” she said. “You never know what’s going to happen out there on the water.”

There were 18 fatalities on Ohio waterways last year, the second highest in the last four years, according to ODNR.

ODNR Natural Resource Officer Shaun Lentini said a common cause of boating accidents specifically relates to people sitting or standing on parts of a boat they shouldn’t be — like riding on the bow of the boat.

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Lentini said in addition to implementing practical safety approaches, a little bit of good judgment goes a long way.

“Use common sense, keep a good lookout, keep the speed low,” he said.

ODNR officials say that is the most important thing you can do while out on the water — but there’s a little more to it than just that.

“The life jacket needs to be designed for that purpose,” said ODNR Natural Resource Officer Shaun Lentini. “It’s coast guard approved. It’ll list the activities that the life jacket is approved for.”

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