Child dies after being hit by personal watercaft on Shasta Lake

Shasta Lake houseboats, July 2017.

Shasta Lake, Calif. – A 7-year-old was killed after she was struck by a personal watercraft on Shasta Lake.

KRCR reports on August 12, 29-year-old San Jose resident Phong Ly was operating a rented personal watercraft on Shasta Lake.

Police said Ly was traveling at an unsafe speed on his way back to a houseboat near Slaughterhouse Island.

Ly’s watercraft struck a 7-year-old girl who was swimming near the houseboat, according to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office.

Ly reportedly jumped into the water to help get the girl back to the houseboat, but she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

This is the third child death on Shasta Lake this summer.

In early July, 12-year-old Auston Strole from Red Bluff was killed after being struck by a propeller.

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office said a girl under the age of 16 was driving the boat when it hit Auston.

50-year-old Robert Noftz was legally in charge of the boat at the time–he was arrested for boating under the influence.

Just days later, 7-year-old Julian Zamora from Salinas went out of sight while on a houseboat with his family.

He went overboard and drowned.

The sheriff’s office said he was not wearing a life jacket, and was not required to since the boat was not moving.

Shasta Lake staff and visitors say it’s important to be aware of your surroundings, know where everyone is–and communication is key.

Staff at Shasta Lake want vacationers to slow down and take a moment to understand the dangers before heading out on the water.

“Safety is one of the most important things for our customers while they’re out on the lake,” Holiday Harbor’s orientations director Randy Corbin said. “We want to ensure that all that precious cargo makes it back in.”

He added, “Everybody’s excited to get out on the lake, we know that, but it is extremely important that they’re fully aware of how to make use of the boats while they’re out there.”

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