NYS Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Scott Pierce reported that on August 20th he was patrolling the Sacandaga Lake when he noticed a small boat along the shoreline. ECO Pierce said he approached the vessel, a 14-foot-long pram powered by an electric motor operated by an older gentleman who said he was looking for Moffit’s Beach State Campsite, about a mile across the lake.
ECO Pierce reported that he asked the man if he had a life vest on board and he did not, so he gave the man a spare life vest from his patrol boat. With the winds picking up, the man put it on and headed for the campground, saying he would return the life vest to the campground office when he was done with it, according to ECO Pierce.
With the wind still increasing, ECO Pierce said he noticed a short time later that the pram was taking on water in the rear and the boat was beginning to stand up vertically in the water. He headed toward the sinking boat which he said capsized as he approached. The operator clung to the side of the boat.
According to ECO Pierce, at the same time another passing boat arrived to assist, pulling the capsized boat away while Pierce grabbed the man by his life vest and instructed him to hold onto the side of the patrol boat. The ECO pulled the man safely onto the patrol boat. With the pram’s motor still running, the capsized boat spun in circles. After a few attempts, the officer and the boat’s operator were able secure the boat and turn the motor off. With the operator safely aboard the patrol boat, the ECO towed the partially submerged boat to the campground.
Photo from incident provided by DEC.