UPDATED: Boats Collide Off of Darien, Man Receives ‘Fairly Severe’ Injury to Right Leg

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A man on a power boat on Long Island Sound south of Darien received “fairly severe” injuries to his right leg in a mid-morning boating accident, Darien police said.

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Editor’s note: This article has been updated at 11:25 p.m., Sunday to reflect added information from Darien police.

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The man, a Danbury resident, was with two men from Redding on a 20-foot power boat at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday, about a mile west of Greens Ledge Light, police said.

A New York City man was operating a 33-foot sailboat which hit the power boat was charged with negligent operation by the U.S. Coast Guard, according to police.

Darien police gave this further account, including accusations not proven in court:

The operator (and only occupant) of the sailboat, moving at the time under engine power, had left the wheel — leaving the sailboat unpiloted — to look for something below deck when the boat collided with the right side of the rear of the power boat.

The back end of the power boat temporarily went under water, as did the injured man, who was sitting in that area and was struck by the sailboat.

Darien Police Marine Unit 912-16-16

Darien Police Marine Unit boat

That man was the only person injured, police said.

The incident occurred about a mile west of Greens Ledge Light, an area which is about a half mile east of Long Neck peninsula.

Both boats were able to get to Five Mile River, where the vessels were secured and medical attention sought for those with injuries. The male with the injured leg was taken by Norwalk EMS ambulance to Norwalk Hospital.

Darien’s Marine Division boat responded, as did a Norwalk police boat and a U.S. Coast Guard vessel from Eaton’s Neck on Long Island. Darien police and the Coast Guard are conducting parallel investigations into the incident.

Police Advice: Have a Working VHF Radio Aboard

Both vessels had VHF radio, but neither used them very effectively in the heat of the moment. Police added this statement to the news release:

The Darien Police Marine Division stresses the importance of having working VHF radios aboard, and being knowledgeable in their operation in the event of an emergency.

When serious injuries occur on the water, a working VHF radio can save valuable time in seeking assistance as you can communicate directly with public safety vessels.

The Darien Police Marine Division can be reached using VHS hailing/distress channel #16, as can the USCG [United States Coast Guard] and most other public safety agencies.

News Release: Full Text

Here is the full text of the news release:

Today, at approximately 0945hrs, a collision occurred between two boats approximately 1 mile west of Greens Ledge Lighthouse on the Long Island Sound. A 33’ sailboat operating under power, with a single person aboard, ran into an anchored 20’ center-console whose occupants were fishing. The 20’ vessel had three people aboard. The operator of the sailboat left the wheel for a period of time to retrieve an item below deck, leaving the vessel un-piloted. During this time, the sailboat impacted the center-console on the right/rear side, forcing the rear of the boat underwater momentarily. One of the occupants of the center-console had been seated in the rear of the boat, and was struck by the sailboat as well causing injury. The injured party was forced underwater momentarily by the impact of the sailboat, and suffered fairly severe injuries to his right leg. Both boats were able to get into 5 Mile River to secure their vessels and seek medical treatment for the injured parties.

The Darien Police Marine Division, the Norwalk Police Marine Division, and the United States Coast Guard Station Eaton’s Neck all responded to the incident. The injured party was transported by Norwalk EMS to Norwalk hospital for further treatment.

Both the Darien Police and USCG are conducting parallel investigations for their respective agencies. The operator of the sailboat was cited by the USCG for “Negligent Operations” under the United States Code. Investigation is ongoing.

The Darien Police Marine Division stresses the importance of having working VHF radios aboard, and being knowledgeable in their operation in the event of an emergency. When serious injuries occur on the water, a working VHF radio can save valuable time in seeking assistance as you can communicate directly with public safety vessels. The Darien Police Marine Division can be reached using VHS hailing/distress channel #16, as can the USCG and most other public safety agencies.

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