View Full Version : Tow rope accident

07-09-2007, 01:41 PM
Last weekend my 10 year old son recieved a very nasty injury between the knee and ankle of his right leg. He was on a pontoon boat with a tube riding on the back of the boat and the rope was layed thru the walking area of the boat. I was following on a jetski and saw the tube fly back and catch water upsidedown. The rope wrapped around his leg and gave him second degree burns around his leg. The whole accident could have been a lot worse but also could have been prevented. Im beside myself with guilt that I wasnt on board that boat to check ropes, etc.

I cant stress enough to all of you to watch your tow ropes and lines. The ER staff that treated my son said they see torn muscles and amputations every summer.

My son will make a full recover and but will have a large scar on his leg. A constant reminder to be safe.

07-09-2007, 02:42 PM
Rugburn - Good reminder for everyone to be careful. We store everything that is unused, including ropes, to minimize risk of injury. Things can happen fast on the water. Hope your son is back on the water soon with a smile on his face. - Deerfield

07-09-2007, 04:48 PM
Lucky. But, a war wound that will be a reminder that good times can turn bad.
Even passengers need to keep "head in the game".

07-09-2007, 06:49 PM
Jim, I'm sorry to hear about your son. Pretty scary how fast things happen. Hope he recovers quickly.

Thanks for reminding all of us that we have to be ever vigilant while boating and not get too cavalier about safety.

07-09-2007, 08:29 PM
I use quick disconects on the tubes. Yellow & plastic things at overtons.

That might help.

Also line wraps, also overtons.


07-09-2007, 11:31 PM
Also line wraps, also overtons.


I actively stow as we go. I've been on craft with others and had to dodge the junk in the boat. I dont mind deflating a tube only to have to reinflate it 2 hours later. Tow ropes get wrapped and hung to dry on the tower. The only thing we have to get off the floor now are the kneeboards.

Custom, well made, kneeboard racks are hard to come by. Working a deal with that ebayer from California. (will repost link when I get back)

07-09-2007, 11:42 PM
Im with you Wolf. On my boat, I inflate and deflate as necessary. I got a good pump that does the job quick and gets that monster out of the way. Ropes stashed too. I even hate the cooler being on the floor. Boards on racks, ski's in the locker. Im a nut for safety on the water, especially with kids on board.

The guy piloting the pontoon is a very experienced boater. Turns out a female passenger on the pontoon used the on board portapotty and untied the rope holding the tube without him knowing. She tied it back but it seems her knot didnt hold. Still, the damned thing should have been deflated and put away.

Hindsight is 20/20 but damn I wish I was on board, that rope wouldnt have been there.

07-10-2007, 01:43 AM
:shock:Sorry about your boy ! We witnessed a bad deal on lake shasta last year as our friends were pulling two tubes and did not check the rope length, after a few turns one tube crossed over and switched sides. The problem here was the rope found its way around there daughters neck and took her right out of the tube. To this day she looks like she had major surgery on her neck, A pretty young lady with a reminder on her neck that someone should have checked the ropes... Please be a safe capton and check all !!

07-10-2007, 02:00 AM
Rope length check is a must. One thing I tell people when using two tubes is if one falls off do not drop off also as I have seen people get rope burns somehow just by bailing out. The worst that can happen by staying on is getting bopped in the head with the empty tube but I usually cut the engine fairly quickly.

07-11-2007, 11:13 PM
Rugburn, I hope your son gets back in the water soon. Hate to waste any of these short Wisconsin summer days. Keeping tho boat orderly is a constant job you bet. The second you don't stay on top of things something always goes wrong, from simple tears in seats or fin ding to the gel coat or unfortunately something much worse, physical harm to a friend or family member. A big as ski boats are, they sure find a way to fill up fast. Imagine if all you could buy was the old boomerang, Yikes!

07-23-2007, 11:43 AM
My son got in the lake yesterday for the first time since his accident. He had to wait until all his scabs were gone. The 10 year old body is a quick healer, must faster than the 42 year old one I got. Still kinda looks bad but he is back to being a normal kid again, ripping around as usual. Thanks for all the kind words and get well wishes.

07-23-2007, 06:28 PM
Must be those healing cool Wisconsin waters. Glad to here he's back at it!