Third boat in 2 weeks capsizes on river

Two boaters were rescued when their vessel overturned near the Kenai City Dock Tuesday afternoon.

A boat took on water and capsized on the Kenai River after some rope holding a dipnet to its bow became tangled in the propellers, said Kenai Fire Chief Jeff Tucker. Members of the Kenai Fire Department got the call just before 2 p.m., he said.

Boaters next to the overturned vessel rescued the two men and towed them back to shore, Tucker said. Neither boater was injured.

This is the third capsized boat the Kenai Fire Department has responded to during this personal use dipnet season, and the fifth one the city knows about, Tucker said. Besides always wearing a life jacket while out on the water, Tucker said there are precautions boaters can take to avoid such accidents, like being cognizant of how the type of boat being used will fare on the river.

“Most of the boats we’ve responded to are low-sided boats that probably shouldn’t be out in the water in these conditions to begin with,” he said.

Tucker said filling up small boats with multiple people, gear and fish makes them extra susceptible to other, faster vessels sharing the water. Firefighters have even seen canoes out on the river before, he said.

“Just because it can go in the water doesn’t mean it should be out there in these types of conditions,” Tucker said.

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