Island teen in deadly boat collision completed state education course
October 8, 2008 · Updated 12:50 PM
The Island teen involved in a fatal boating accident on Lake Washington while operating a motor boat late last month received the state-required boater education card, according to state Parks Department records.
According to Dona Wolfe, the boating safety education coordinator of the Washington State Parks Boating Program, the identity of the 17-year-old Islander was in the database of boaters who have received the state-required card. The Reporter is not naming the teenage boat operator at this time, as he has not been charged with a crime. Police are investigating the crash and said they may seek charges if they determine that the teen broke any laws. Police have not released many details about the accident, including the make or model of the boat, the size of the engine or the speed that they believe the teen was traveling.
Beginning this January, a state law approved in 2005 requires all boat operators 20 years old and younger to complete a government-approved boaters’ education course and apply for their boaters’ card before driving a power boat with an engine bigger than 15 horsepower. Each year for the next eight years, the age requirement will increase by five years. Every power boat driver on Washington waters must have the card by 2016.
The high school junior was driving the motorboat with another 16-year-old Islander when he crashed into the stern of a sailboat around 8:40 p.m. near Seward Park on Sept. 27. Both Island teens were injured in the crash and hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. A 37-year-old Redmond woman who taught music at a middle school within the Bellevue School District died in the crash. Two others on the sailboat survived, and one of them was injured.