Boat With 'Under the Influence' Driver Propels Into Large Wall, Gets Stuck

Four people were rescued Saturday night after a motorboat they were in ended up damaged and stuck on the side of a large break wall.

The incident happened shortly after 9 p.m. at Cleveland's near Edgewater Beach and East 55th Street Marina on Lake Erie. The driver of the boat, named The Hail Mary, told authorities after being rescued that he misjudged the lights on the pier, media outlet 19 News reported.

But U.S. Coast Guard officials said the driver was under the influence, with a blood-alcohol level of .19—which experts say is enough to cause a person to have trouble walking and impaired perception.

According to 19 News, the driver and passengers, who reportedly did not have life jackets on at the time of the incident, were taken to the Metro Health Medical Center after using flares to attract attention.

Two of the boat's passengers sustained injuries, including one who suffered a broken wrist.

FOX 8 reported that one of the passengers was taken to the hospital in a "critical" condition. The driver, who has not been named by the local authorities, was not believed to have been injured.

Images of the stranded boat were posted on Facebook by Ohio broadcaster Harry Boomer, who reported that the vessel may have hit waves that were between three and five feet.

This boat on the break wall overnight, 3-5 ft waves, driver cited for Boating Under the Influence, two passengers hurt. Look for details in my reports tonight on 19 News.

Posted by Harry Boomer on Sunday, September 29, 2019

Captain Dan Saksa, of Cleveland Marine Towing, told 19 News: "It seems like [the driver] hit the lower level of rocks which just propelled him to elevate to the top. [It appears] like the gentleman was just leaving the port and didn't realize that brick wall was there. It is not lit right there [and] with an overcast sky it is very dark. If you are looking to the north you can't see anything."

The crash is now being investigated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which did not immediately respond to a request for additional information about the incident.

In August, dramatic footage was published online showing the moment a three-story houseboat capsized and sank in Tuolumne County, California. Police said the vessel, which was being used for a "Poker Run" event, became "overloaded with too many people" and tipped over.

"Is that not the most devastating thing you have ever seen?" a woman was heard saying in a video clip that quickly went viral, quickly attracting hundreds of thousands of views and shares. Local newspaper The Modesto Bee reported 35 people had to flee the sinking houseboat. Luckily, all of the passengers were able to jump ship before its untimely demise, the sheriff's office said.

Motorboat (stock)
File photo: Small motorboat docking at the marina at sunset time. iStock