HARRISON TWP. (WWJ) – Police say a 66-year-old man was arrested for operating while intoxicated after he and five other passengers were thrown from his boat on Lake St. Clair.
The incident occurred around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on the lake, approximately one mile north of the Clinton River and east of Belvidere Bay.
Upon arriving at the scene, deputies from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Marine Division found a white, 47-foot long Fountain powerboat completely submerged in approximately eight feet of water.
Deputies soon found out that the boat’s operator, a 66-year-old Harrison Township man, had made an abrupt turn while travelling approximately 65 miles per hour. The maneuver caused all of the six persons onboard to be thrown overboard, including the operator. The boat then sank after taking on water too quickly.
Several other boats in the vicinity helped pull the boaters to safety before police arrived. All of the passengers were transported to the South River Access Site where they were evaluated for injuries by the Harrison Township Fire Department.
Police say the operator of the boat had a cut above his right eye, but he declined transport to a hospital. One passenger was transported to McLaren Macomb Hospital for a shoulder injury.
Upon evaluating the boat operator, deputies determined that he was intoxicated. He was subsequently arrested and transported to the Macomb County Jail. Once there, police say the man registered a .11 blood alcohol content based on a Breathalyzer.
The man, who was not named, was charged with operating while intoxicated — watercraft. He was released after posting a $100 bond.
The legal limit for drunk boating was recently lowered from .10 to .08 after a state House Criminal Justice Committee voted on the change in May.