Boy Scouts killed, 1 hurt in Texas boating accident

Saul Bowman
August 8, 2017

Officials at the Lake O'The Pines Marina say that the Hallsville Boy Scouts were camping there.

The more senior members of Troop 620, based in the small East Texas town of Hallsville, worked at one end of the public lake toward a merit badge involving motor boats.

Game wardens arrived at the scene to find the catamaran on fire with the sails up about 300 yards north of the power lines, the statement said.

Two teenage Boy Scouts have died and a third is in critical condition after the boat they were sailing in on Saturday struck a power line. The department said the two who died were 18 and 16 years old, though local media gave the older boy's age as 17.

Boy scout members, teachers, and friends sang "Amazing Grace" and shared stories about the boys lost in the accident.

A third victim, an 11-year-old boy, was found unresponsive in a boat nearby and was given CPR by a few good Samaritans. He was airlifted about 70 miles to LSU Medical Center-Shreveport in Louisiana.

Texas Parks & Wildlife spokesman Steve Lightfoot says the 11-year-old Scout died Monday.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's boating accident reconstruction and mapping team is investigating the accident, the parks and wildlife statement stated.

"It was tragic scene", said Texas Game Warden Quint Balkcom, reported KTRK.

One of Larry's fifth grade teachers, Katy Williams, was at the candlelight vigil and said teaching Larry was a delight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families. The identities of the three boys have not been released at this time.

"It's a huge loss for Scouting", Wiley said. "We will support them in any way that we can".

"This is an extremely hard time for our Scouting family", Stephens said. "We are working to determine what happened, and we are gathering facts as they become available".

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