TOWN OF BURLINGTON — A man was reportedly seriously injured after a personal watercraft and a fishing boat collided Monday afternoon on Browns Lake, the Racine County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Sheriff’s deputies, the Town of Burlington Fire Department and Burlington Rescue squad crews were dispatched at 1:51 p.m. to the lake near the Fischer Park boat launch for a report of an unconscious male in the water.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, preliminary investigation revealed that a Yamaha WaveRunner towing an inner-tube with four occupants collided with a fishing boat occupied by two individuals about 100 feet off shore.
The collision caused a man in the fishing boat to be ejected and thrown into the lake.
Witnesses indicated that the man was unconscious, but breathing, and was in danger of drowning.
The operator of the WaveRunner was able to assist the victim in staying afloat while another boater in the area lifted the patient out of the water and onto their boat.
The patient was then driven to shore where first responders rendered aid.
About 30 minutes after the initial report of the crash, Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling confirmed there had been an accident and that at least one person was being transported by ambulance with injuries.
The injuries were unknown early on but were believed to be serious, Schmaling said.
Later Monday, the Sheriff’s Office reported that the man had been transported via Flight for Life helicopter to a regional trauma center due to the extent of his injuries, which were not detailed to the media.
All other occupants of the involved watercrafts were quickly accounted for by deputies, with no other reported injuries, the Sheriff’s Office reported.
At the scene, Scott Wingreen, assistant chief for the Town of Burlington Fire Department, said the boat, which also was moving at the time of the crash, appeared to be about 12 to 14 feet long. The victim was in the water, unresponsive, for about five minutes, Wingreen was told.
Damage could be seen to the fishing boat’s port after it was brought to the pier at Fischer Park.
Schmaling said the county dive team was immediately called out when the call was dispatched, but was canceled because the victim had already been removed from the water.