Tragedy on Lake Texoma
I know they're not sailboats but....
Five people lost their lives yesterday on Lake Texoma when their boats collided in a “poker run”
The man that owns the green boat, "Nashville Catz" spoke to me briefly Saturday AM. He had just pulled in, and As I was focusing the camera, he yelled over to me...
"Hey, You wouldn't happen to have 5 bucks so I can launch this beast would ya? I'm Broke! "
He laughed and said that he was just kidding. Less than 5 hours later his spouse would be dead, and he's in grave condition in Parkland Hospital.
The thing that really twists me about this is that its been said that the Flash Gordon boat had steering problems while at one of the stops, and had "problems" getting away from the gas dock because of the steering problems.
There is no excuse for two boats travelling at 100mph to be ANYWHERE NEAR EACH OTHER on a 89,000 acre lake.
Four people in the other boat "Flash Gordon" were killed on impact.
That boats website is here...
I have enclosed pictures of the Nashville Catz boat, and Flash Gordons boat, before the collision.
Here is the story from the local paper.
The collision of two speed boats at Lake Texoma Saturday killed five people and injured another. Tim Hayes, vice president at High Port Marina, said Saturday started, “as a perfect day,” but ended up “an absolute tragedy,”
He said the High Roller Poker Run II was under way with around 60 boats involved when the news started coming in that there had been an “awful accident.”
"It involved six people, four in one boat and two in another," Oklahoma Highway Trooper Kera Philippi said.
Although Philippi couldn’t release the names of the dead and injured pending the notification of relatives, Hayes confirmed that the four people killed in a boat called “Flash Gordon” were speed boat driver and promoter Gordon Mineo, his wife Anne and their daughter and future son-in-law.
Hayes couldn’t identify the two people from the second boat. They were flown by medical helicopters to area hospitals. The sole survivor of the collision, Philippi said, was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas. A woman on that boat was taken to Texoma Medical Center in Denison “where she succumbed to her injuries,” Philippi said.
Hayes said the accident happened about a mile west of the U.S. Highway 377 over pass on the west end of the lake near Willis Bridge.
The collision occurred when one boat was hit on its side in the middle by the other watercraft, Philippi said.
Hayes said Poker Run was not sponsored by HighPort, but the awards dinner was to be held there at the end. The game is played by participating teams getting a card at each of five different stops and then comparing their cards at the end of the game. The team with the best poker had at the end wins.
Hayes said the accident stopped the event but other activities at the lake continued. He said poker runs have been a tradition on the lake for around 20 years and none have ever ended in a tragedy like the one that happened Saturday.
After confirming that the events were an economic boom to the merchants around the lake, Hayes said he is not sure what kind of an impact the collision will have on the practice.
“I am sure it won’t be good though,” Hayes said.
He said the drivers of both of the boats involved “were world class” and have many years of experience.
Frequent sailing of a midsize boat on the ocean provides a variety of thrills and pleasure and a few occasions which can be extra exciting: dense fog, carrying a spinnaker in too much breeze, rounding a mark in a crowd of big boats, heavy weather. etc. etc.
However there's only once situation that actually scares me when sailing - having a cigarette boat pass close by at high speed. Operating a powerboat at 60+ knots within 100 yards of another boat is the mark of a fool who is playing with other peoples' lives. You just know that, should the operator need another beer, and find the cooler empyty, and have to reach under the console to pull out a new six-pack, that in that ten seconds of carlessness, he will cut though you as if you weren't even there.
But true terror comes from having two of these high octanne AHs cruising together, and perhaps pushing the pedals to see who has more horses, then the odds really go down hill. The most vivid memory of my thirty five years of boating, is passing through the narrow entrance to Boston Harbor one sunny Saturday, and having two cigarette boats come out of the Harbor at some ungodly speed, I'd guess 60-70 but who can say, there's no reference for that type of speed, one passed 30 yards to port and the other 30 yards to starboard, and we were truely terrified.
So if these folks didn't see this accident coming, I saw it for them. At least they didn't involve any innocent bystanders.
Then again there really is no need for any boat to be going anywhere near that fast on a public waterway. Boats don't have brakes that work. Steering on a fast boat is also a crap shoot....
Let's see now...anyone with the money and the macho is allowed to just walk up and buy these things and put them on the water, right?
Yep, rich and dumb and macho. I'm just glad they only killed each other, instead of casual bystanders. No sympathy here.
I'd have to agree with hellosailor... unfortunately, this is an exception..as the idiots in the go-superfast boats usually end up killing innocent bystanders more often than not.
[quote= I'm just glad they only killed each other, instead of casual bystanders. No sympathy here.[/quote]
A month or so ago I was driving south on I275 in the middle of the day. Traffic wasn't heavy, I was in the center of three lanes doing about 65. A crotch rocket entered, sped up and passed me in the right lane, then crossed over to the fast lane in front of me. I was wondering what the hell he was doing as he slowed down and I passed him, when suddenly he popped a wheelie right next to me and held it for at least a hundred yards or so. After screwing around like that for a minute or so he buzzed on and I was left to fantisize about rounding the next bend in the freeway and seeing the little a..hole pulled over by a trooper. I would have felt like crap if I had seen him splattered all over the freeway. I never even imagined the scenario.
The lack of empathy I get from you guys is astounding.
While I'm sure you all have never done anything foolish, foolhardy, discurteous or stupid, is it too much to ask you let the bodies cool before you start in with your selfrighteous, judgemental and thoughtless comments?
"The lack of empathy I get from you guys is astounding.
While I'm sure you all have never done anything foolish, foolhardy, discurteous or stupid, is it too much to ask you let the bodies cool before you start in with your selfrighteous, judgemental and thoughtless comments?"
Well, Knothead, speaking only for myself, sure, I've done things that were foolish or stupid. Lived through the stupid ones and later learned not to chance repeating them. Of course, once upon a time none of us drove with seat belts and that would be called stupid today.
But in the case of those guys? Anyone that can afford to burn $500-1000 on an afternoon beer run can afford to learn how boats work. What we see time and time again is guys who have more macho than brains, and I'd give you odds they were playing chicken to see who could get to the next point faster. That's just plain STUPID when you consider that boats at the speed simply CANNOT be controlled 100%, and any accident at that speed WILL BE FATAL.
If I killed myself the same way, I wouldn't expect much sympathy, drunk or sober. Wait to see if they recover enough body parts to do a blood alcohol reading, I'd bet on BWI as well as BWS (Boating while stupid).
Empathy? Yeah, I have empathy. What's left of it gets applied with the standard rules for triage. And these guys were just plain old Category 3, no matter what you do they're gonna die [sic], so you save it for someone else who might benefit from it.
If the crotchrocket jock spilled and you slid on his remains and wound up stuffing into a tree at 60mph and sitting in the hospital for a couple of months...would you feel sorry for HIM? I hope not. Terminal stupidity is a natural part of life, and if we weren't doing such a good job of fighting mother nature with bleeding heart regulations, we might have less of it in the gene pool.
Wanna do without seat belts? PFDs? Swim without lifeguards among rip currents and sharks? Hey, that's fine with me. Just don't expect me to mourn the folks who do it, and don't get lucky. We're supposed to know better by now.
I would have to say that the two boats were probably endangering other boats, given the speeds that they were capable and probably moving at. Have you ever been hit by the wake off of a powerboat like that moving at over 60 knots... I have, it's not a whole lot of fun, and a good way to get hurt by their actions.
I don't mind people choosing to be stupid, and a lot of people do it...I do mind when it may possibly affect me and mine though...Those two boats could have easily killed a lot more than just each other. If either one of those had lost control and plunged into a crowded marina on a holiday weekend, like this Labor Day weekend, how many people do you think could have been killed.
No, I don't have much sympathy for people who are too arrogant to have consideration for others and aren't smart enough to boat responsibly.
Hey guys, if it makes you feel better somehow, go for it.
This was a planned event, I don't get the impression that the drivers were new to the sport and I just don't think they or their families deserve to be labled as "idiots" or"rich and dumb and macho", or frankly anything by people who don't even know them.
I don't see any reason why people need to go that fast on the water either but guess what, I don't own the freakin water. Neither do you. I'd like to see all the idiots who don't know how to drive taken off the roads too, but I don't own the damn roads. I just have to learn to coexist with the idiots. And when one of them dies, I just think it's a little more compassionate, or maybe even civilized, to withhold opinions about their character, than to berate the dead.
Nice Knothead. People are people and if one of us had a brother who liked to drive boats fast at events for gofast boats and was killed we would sure feel crappy. Unless there was another article posted I don't think any of us know the details beyond the fact of the boats being capable of dangerous speeds.
Lets also remember that there is no shortage of sailors who are dangerous to themselves and others.
Incidentally sailingdog, boats travelling at 60 knots plus generally don't make nearly the wake that they would while "in the hole" just before planing speed. They have so little hull in the water that they just don't move that much of it.
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