Blankenship Bend, AZ: Boat collision at Blankenship Bend injured 6 people.
According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, at approximately 2:24pm PT on Saturday, July 22nd, 2017, Colorado River Boating Deputies responded to a collision involving a Pontoon boat and local tour boat on the Colorado River near Blankenship Bend, Arizona.
The owner/operator of the Pontoon boat, Merrill Storms and 2 passengers were traveling south from the area of the sand bar at Blankenship Bend when his vessel collided with a 48′ aluminum commercial tour boat operated by Arthur Martin carrying 33 passengers and two crew members.
Storms was traveling approximately 30-35 mph at the time of the incident when the bow of his vessel struck the tour boat.
As a result of the 2 vessels colliding, a total of 6 people were injured; 2 people from the Pontoon boat and 4 people from the tour boat, were transported to a local hospital.
A person who was injured and was in critical condition was airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
At the time of the investigation, alcohol was not believed to be a factor.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone having additional information regarding the incident is urged to contact Deputy Brian Weck, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Marine Enforcement Unit.
The United States Coast Guard will also be conducting a parallel investigation of the collision due to the commercial vessel.
** Press Release: **