CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - A 23-year-old man was charged with boating while intoxicated after a boat crash early Thursday morning.
The Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office said Edward Eades, 23, of Grand Forks, North Dakota, was driving a 1997 Cobalt boat at 1:53 a.m. when it struck a dock and a docked 2014 Skiers Choice Supra SC boat.
The dock suffered structural damage and the boat suffered minimal damage.
Eades and two passengers were not injured in the collision. The incident occurred in the 5600 block of South Shore Dr.
"I heard this thud, and then a motor racing momentarily."
Jim Fogdall was awake at the time of the accident, and heard the man who struck the Supra calling 911.
"And calling 911 and telling them that, 'I was drunk, I was driving a boat drunk, and I ran into a dock.'"
Fogdall believes it could have been much worse.
"The last lift was 10 feet closer to land. Consequently, the boat had to travel farther over the dock and mid air before it would hit that boat. Otherwise, it would've broadsided the boat at the end of the lifts."
"The boat stopped suddenly and those kids were lucky that they weren't injured or killed."
The unfortunate event is serving as an important reminder as alcohol and boating don't mix. The Iowa DNR, along with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, will be out in full force this weekend as part of the nationwide "Operation Dry Water" campaign.
Benjamin Bergman is a Conservation Officer with the DNR, and covers Cerro Gordo, Worth and Winnebago Counties in his district. This year marks his 15th Independence Day.
"Alcohol and boating it seems to be a rite of passage for some reason. With as hot as it is, the waves, the motor vibration, that plays more of an effect on the operator."
So if you're out on the water this weekend...
"Have somebody as a sober driver. We tend to see that more, but at the same token, we still have those who really like to enjoy themselves with alcohol, and at times, too much."
Bergman adds that they can administer a field sobriety test if they have reason to believe someone is intoxicated or see alcohol on board.
In Iowa, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content over .08.