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Friday, September 6, 2013
On Monday at about 4 p.m., a man was knocked unconscious while operating a boat near Needlewood Drive in Huddleston. The local man was towing his son in a tube behind the boat when the rope snapped and hit the 55-year-old operator. He was taken to Bedford Memorial Hospital, treated for a concussion and eventually released, said Sgt. Bryan Young of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Despite this incident, overall, it was a safe weekend, according to officials.
Al Busch, spokesperson for the SML Marine Volunteer Fire/Rescue Co., said the weekend’s rainy weather caused more problems than anything else.
Busch said that on Saturday, the company and other area fire departments responded to a series of calls regarding house fire alerts from about 4:54 p.m. to 5:49 p.m. He said that when lightning strikes nearby, it sometimes sets off home fire alarms.
Also on Saturday, at about 5:25 p.m., a sailboat was caught in the thunderstorm near channel marker R1 forcing the boat to dock at an island by the dam. SML Marine Volunteer Fire/Rescue Co. responded to the call in the middle of the storm and rescued two people from Dam Island, Busch said.
“There were a lot of calls but nothing really major,” he said.
Young said there were no arrests for boating under the influence during the Labor Day weekend.
“It’s a rarity for a holiday weekend like this,” he said.
Despite three checkpoints set up around Smith Mountain Lake, several operators stopped, but officers made no arrests.
“We were excited to see the designated operator concept in use,” he said.
Young said that aside from last month’s suspected drowning , the weekend marked the end of a mostly safe summer.
Officials continue to search for John Shoop, 74, who was last seen near channel marker R2 on Aug. 2.
“It was a safe summer for the most part,” Young said. “We hope that trend will continue.”
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