LAKE HAVASU CITY — A 26-year-old Mesa, Arizona, man was killed Sunday afternoon in a boating accident on the California side of Lake Havasu.
The accident apparently happened when the man, struggling in the water after jumping in to cool off, was struck by his own vessel.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded at 12:49 p.m. Sunday to the incident in California Bay.
“The operator and four passengers left the Bridgewater Channel and headed south on Lake Havasu when the operator, Ismael Ortiz, stopped the vessel and jumped into the water to cool off. The vessel drifted away from Ortiz due to the high winds and waves,” a news release stated. “Ortiz was struggling when a female passenger placed the boat in reverse in attempt to get closer to Ortiz. The vessel was still in reverse when the female operator left the helm and attempted to assist Ortiz out of the water.”
Authorities said Ortiz was fatally injured when struck by the vessel’s rotating propeller.
Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the accident.
This accident is under investigation and any witnesses are urged to contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office at 760-326-9200 with any information.