Boaters survive Kenai River crash

Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2007

When rescuers responded to a boating accident at Stewart's Landing on Thursday morning, they expected to find a few of the occupants in the water.

But upon arrival the only victim they were able to locate at first was an elderly man with what looked like a fractured hand.

"I was in the back of the ambulance helping to treat the gentlemen when (another man) said, 'I think I'm the second person you're looking for,'" said Lesley Quelland, shift captain for Central Emergency Services.

The water-logged victim was thrown without a personal flotation device into the river when the two boats collided, but was able to swim to shore.

"He went to the hospital, not as a patient, but because he didn't have anywhere else to go. He was able to take a hot shower, get some dry clothes and wait for his fishing party," Quelland said.

Quelland was unable to say how the accident ocurred, but a visit to Central Peninsula Hospital determined the elderly man's hand was severely bruised not, fractured.

"We were just there to make sure everyone's OK," Quelland said, adding that the second boat wasn't willing to cooperate when rescuers caught up with them at The Pillars boat launch.

"The boat operators wanted to get back out there and go fishing."

Jessica Cejnar can be reached at

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