State police and forest rangers are investigating an incident in which a 12-year-old boy was injured after being thrown from a boat he was operating alone in Upper Saranac Lake's Fish Creek Bay around midday Monday.
The boy was driving the 12- to 15-foot boat, with a 25-horsepower outboard motor on it, when he went overboard, Saranac Lake Fire Chief Brendan Keough said. The boy was thrown from the boat by large waves, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
While in the water, he was hit by the propeller of the unoccupied boat that didn't turn off after ejecting him, according to DEC. Keough said the boy received minor injuries.
The accident was close to shore, and family members were nearby and were able to rescue him, Keough said.
When firefighters responded, they had to track down and stop the runaway boat.
"It was basically running in circles on the lake," Keough said.
Saranac Lake firefighters used a water gun on a fire boat they have on Upper Saranac Lake to partially fill the runaway boat and slow it down. A firefighter then creeped into the boat and turned off the motor. A caretaker from a nearby camp assisted in bringing the boat to shore.
The boy's parents took him to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake.
The accident occurred where Fish Creek enters Upper Saranac Lake, near a seasonal residence where the boy was staying with his family off of Beaverwood Road.
About 15 Saranac Lake firefighters responded to the call, including members of the dive team and boat crew. The call came in at 11:45 a.m., and the boat was secured by 12:15 p.m. At least one forest ranger responded to the incident. The Tupper Lake rescue and dive teams were also dispatched.