Eliminator boat involved in fatal accident

A white Carrera deck boat and a yellow Eliminator watercraft lay in impound at Havasu’s Water Safety Center after a fatal Sunday accident. The Eliminator’s operator died at the scene.

Two fatal boat accidents over the weekend are just the latest in a string of deadly incidents on the water this summer.

On Saturday, a 30-year-old woman from Hemet, California, was killed when the boat she was riding in sank in the Colorado River near Big River, a town near Parker. The next night, a man was killed when two boats crashed in Lake Havasu.

The two accidents follow several water-related deaths on the lake in recent weeks. The increase in fatal incidents on Lake Havasu caught the attention of Lake Havasu Marine Association President Jim Salscheider, who on Monday said he planned to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to maintain boater safety. Salscheider said the details of that collaboration would be revealed in future weeks.

“We’ve been talking behind the scenes with law enforcement agencies to see what to do to make the lake safer,” said Lake Havasu Marine Association President Jim Salscheider. “Something needs to be done. There’s definitely been an increase in boat traffic, and we need a new marina — that’s in the works for next summer, and it will really cut down on traffic. But sometimes people come here who are just not knowledgeable about boating law.”

Sunday’s crash was reported around 9:30 p.m., according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The accident occurred between Havasu Landing and Lake Havasu State Park when a 25-foot Carrera deck boat, carrying a driver and three passengers, was struck by a 28-foot Eliminator watercraft, carrying three passengers. The Eliminator was traveling northbound without its lights on and struck the Carrera’s broad side at about 40 miles per hour according to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Cpl. Jeffrey Cross. All passengers ejected into the water, and a passenger from the Carrera helped everyone back into the boats. The driver of the Eliminator was pronounced dead at the scene when emergency responders arrived, Cross aid.

Three of the accident’s victims required medical treatment at Havasu Regional Medical Center, while a fourth victim required medical air-transport to a Las Vegas hospital, Cross said. Alcohol is believed to have been the cause, Cross said.

Sunday’s accident follows close on the heels of another accident in Big River Park, within the Parker area. At about 6:30 p.m., according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office, a vessel launched from Big River Park for a tubing excursion, but the boat’s motor failed and the vessel began to take on water.

As the boat sank, six passengers managed to swim away, but a seventh was unable to free herself from a length of rope, and was pulled beneath the surface. The victim and vessel were only recovered Sunday morning.

Increase in incidents

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Department has reported three fatalities on the lake this year, including a July 22 double-drowning near the launch ramp of Crazy Horse Campgrounds.

Also on July 22, a jet boat collided with a pontoon boat near Havasu’s sandbar, resulting in one severe injury and multiple minor injuries.

On July 4, a San Bernardino firefighter died while attempting to extricate a boating anchor from the river bottom in Parker; and on June 11, another victim was dislodged from a capsized watercraft when its operator took a sharp turn at high speed. While the driver died from apparent cardiac arrest at the scene, the dislodged victim was only found the following day, 40 feet beneath the surface.

On May 19, a personal watercraft pilot sustained severe head injuries when he fell into the water, and was struck by another personal watercraft operated by a friend.

This month, the remains of a woman presumed to have been missing since April were recovered from Ranger Point at Lake Havasu State Park.


(11) comments


Boating is no different than cars. We have accidents and technology has helped with cars. Let's hope some of these new crash avoidance systems get into our boats. Havasu has a Great Lake and town for recreation.


Everyone is first to blame "Drinking" How about wait for the facts,,, And the last thing we need is the Marine Assn involved, They Muck up everything, do you see those guys directing traffic at the launch ramp in the morning ? A monkey could do a better job


So now, safer boating laws and enforcement will finally come into effect and the last of the "wild river frontier" will slowly subside! We are just one of the few lakes where the yahoos can come and raise heck and nothing is done because of fear of scaring the tourist boaters away. There was never a thought given to safety from the town fathers or the Marine Association for fer of losing revenue, and I don't understand how a new marina will help cut down on lake fatalities but they can use it as an excuse to build more buildings for themselves. I have been at the lake and if the boaters could beach themselves in the roped off swimming areas at Rotary Park they would do so. Thank goodness for the ropes or there would be no swimming anywhere that would be safe! All of the other lakes have boating regulations and they come here because there isn't any. It's a shame it has to come down to people losing their lives to make the city fathers grow up! About time!


this operator of the Eliminator craft was very cautious and would not be on the lake without running lights. nor would he drink.


We're you there?


Speed, booze, and operator ignorance all packaged in gross stupidity and marketed as "play like you mean it". What more can be expected in this environment?

MM in Havasuj

Can't fix stupid.
Learn how to operate a boat safely and responsibly, otherwise cops will ruin the lake for everyone with blanket enforcement because they are required to enforce the existing laws. You want a retarded speed limit or mandatory licensing? Keep coming here and acting stupid and that is what could happen.
Many of these people have too much money and not enough brains.


Justa as former boat employee here in Havasu ,a "Catamaran" boat can not make sharp turns like a "V hull" boat and I think they are more dangerous if you dont know how to operate one., just look at the pictures what kind of boats are they mostly?? Cats,I really luv my V hull for that reason , dodging slower or on coming traffic ,Oh well,, dont drink & operate a boat at high speeds People. And ware do most of them come from Yep California sorry to say but true,, like someone said before the same people drive on the roadways the same way.Get Smart People.


Just what we need more boating laws. Instead of spending time and money having people pull their plugs, how about enforcing the laws we already have. The majority of these deaths are alcohol related, but I have yet to see any BUI check points this summer. Start arresting these fools and impound their boats. Increase the fines for BUI to pay for extra enforcement. Have the agency that makes the arrest charge a large release fee to return the boat. People are going to keep dying until we have a zero tolerance for BUI on this River.




Im glad I just sold my boat,a 26' Scarab, been boating for 15yrs here, and done with boating ,this place is Out of Control on wknds,,have Had my close encounters mostly with PWC ,On the Lake or Off it.,sad deal., boating at dark is just crazy add Speed and Alcohol and Bingo.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.