The Desert IndependentTM
Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001
Boating accident on Colorado River claims a woman’s life
August 7, 2017
BIG RIVER, Calif – On Saturday, August 5, at about 6:29 in the evening, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department - Colorado River Boating Deputies responded to a fatal boating accident near the Big River Park on the Colorado River.
The operator, Umberto Bagnara (age 52 of Beaumont, California), and 6 passengers left the launch ramp at Big River Park in a 19' closed bow vessel to go tubing. During the trip, the vessel lost power and became swamped and started to sink. Six of the passengers were able to swim away from the vessel but the victim, later identified as Tasha Turner (age 30 of Hemet), became tangled in the ski rope that was attached to the vessel. Tasha was unable to free herself from the rope and was pulled under the water’s surface as the vessel sank.
Dive members from the La Paz County Sheriff's Office located the vessel and due to the strong current, water and lighting conditions, dive missions were canceled until the morning.
On August 6 at approximately 7:00 a.m., Colorado River Station Boating Deputies and Department dive rescue members responded back the scene of the accident. With the assistance of the La Paz County Sheriff's Office and Buckskin Fire Department, Tasha Turner and the vessel nvolved were recovered from the water. The investigation is ongoing at this time.
Anyone with information regarding the investigation is asked to contact Deputy William Poe of the Colorado River Station/ Marine Enforcement Unit at (760) 326-9200.
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