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Post Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:21 am 
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STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (ABC21) -- Conservation officers have made an arrest in Saturday's dangerous boating accident at Lake Gage.

Dominique Effinger, 20, of Fort Wayne, was arrested and now faces boating while intoxicated causing injury and being a minor in possession of alcohol.

Conservation officers say Effinger was driving the 21 ft. boat at high speeds on the lake when the boat cut into a violent turn.

That's when 10 people were thrown off, and the craft continued at high speeds running unmanned around the lake causing even more injuries.

Conservation officers say four of those victims had serious or near-fatal injuries.

Good Samaritan boaters were able to get some of those who were seriously injured to shore.

Two people were flown to a Fort Wayne hospital with serious injuries, including a skull fracture and a partial lower arm amputation.

An attorney representing one of those injured tells ABC21 that there was not a partial lower arm amputation, however.

Others with less serious injuries were taken to an Angola hospital.

The Ski Nautique motorboat continued circling the lake going about 30 mph.

Conservation Officers and Steuben County Sheriff's Deputies alerted residents in the area to move their docked boats and clear the area.

Eventually an officer was able to toss a rope and get it tangled in the boat's propeller, slowing it down.

The boat struck a dock and diverted it’s direction into the rear of the patrol boat the officer was operating, disabling the patrol boat’s motor due to the impact.

The entangling rope eventually slowed the runaway boat. The officer was then able to use a nearby personal watercraft and jump onto the runaway boat while both boats were still in motion.

He then took control of the unmanned boat and bring it to a stop, averting any further injuries and damage.

ABC21 has learned Effinger has bonded out of the Steuben County Jail.

Alcohol was found to be a factor in the accident.

See original story:

An out of control, unmanned boat wreaked havoc at Lake Gage on Saturday, prompting multiple agencies to respond.

A video shot from a distant vessel shows the boat circling a populated portion of the lake not far from a shoreline.

Indiana Department of Resources District 2 and Steuben County Sheriff's deputies responded to the scene in the early evening hours.

A DNR post on social media noted that "the boat is causing multiple crashes and injuries. The situation is very unpredictable and dangerous. Our thoughts are with all involved."

The extent of injuries was not immediately clear.

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Post Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:43 am 
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Sounds like the operator of the boat was very irresponsible and did several things wrong endangering not only his passengers but others on the lake.

The first one of course is operating a boat while intoxicated. As someone who lost a family member to a drunk boater this one really strikes home. When I was young my 13 year old cousin and the driver of the boat she was on were killed in a horrific boat collision while water skiing on a holiday weekend. It's not worth the risk so always have a designated captain.

The second is it sounds like the boat was overloaded. I'm not sure what the capacity is on a 21' Ski Nautique is but I doubt it is 10.

The third of course is wear your safety lanyard! I know they are a pain in the butt at times.. But always wear it. You never know what is going to happen. One great option is the wireless Fell Marine MOB switch. https://www.fellmarine.com/ I have one on my 170 and I love it. Blueagave also has one on his 19-6.

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Post Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:25 pm 
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wingtime wrote:
Sounds like the operator of the boat was very irresponsible and did several things wrong endangering not only his passengers but others on the lake.

The third of course is wear your safety lanyard! I know they are a pain in the butt at times.. But always wear it. You never know what is going to happen. One great option is the wireless Fell Marine MOB switch. https://www.fellmarine.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; I have one on my 170 and I love it. Blueagave also has one on his 19-6.


I put a Fell MOB on my 22-2CCP - works great, but you have to remember to reset it when you leave the boat for lunch, bait, bathroom, etc.! It will disable the motor once you get about 40 feet away. Then you forget about it, try to start the motor, and you are cussin' - "damn brand new motor won't start" :twisted: - then you remember to push the button on that little MOB fob in your pocket... :2261_high:

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Post Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:54 pm 
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There is a mooring mode that will let you temporarily get out of range without shutting down the motor. I think you do a long press on the FOB. Of course it works much better when you don't forget the FOB at home!

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