DNR officials say alcohol, negligence contributing factors in - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

DNR officials say alcohol, negligence contributing factors in weekend boat accidents

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Local DNR officials are investigating two deadly boating accidents that happened over the weekend.

Two Tri-State men lost their lives in fatal boating accidents where alcohol was considered to be a contributing factor.

Conservation Officer Mike Kellner says 43-year-old Anthony Catt was boating near the Goose Island area of Patoka Lake Saturday afternoon when he dove off the top of a pontoon boat.

Kellner says Catt hit his head on the side of the boat and didn't resurface.

Kellner says a dive team recovered Catt's body about six hours later.

On Sunday, Kellner says Garret Ward, of Boonville, became entangled in the motor of a boat that was backing away from the French Islands on the Ohio River.

Ward was pronounced dead at the scene.

In both instances, Kellner says negligence and alcohol were contributing factors.

"You add drugs and/or alcohol, bad things happen," said Kellner. "When bad things happen out on the water, life is even more complicated and help is a long time coming. You've got to remember to be just as responsible on the water as you do on the roadway."

The DNR says operating a boat while impaired is the same thing as driving a car while impaired.

They say they will help in any kind of water accident, but ultimately, responsibility is left up to the people involved.

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