Drowning Blamed on Overloaded Boat

By: WOWT-TV Email
By: WOWT-TV Email

Investigators say several factors were involved in a drowning last weekend. A small boat was overloaded with passengers. The victim did not know how to swim.

The accident happened around 8am November 22nd in a chute off the Missouri River in Otoe County, Nebraska. For those familiar with the river, it happened near river mile marker 552.2, south of Nebraska City.

Investigators say five people boarded a 10-foot longjon boat that has a capacity of only two people. The passengers were crossing the river channel to hunt deer on an island at the Hamburg Bend.

When the boat was 50 feet from shore, it began to take on water. When it capsized, all of the passengers fell into the water, which was 39 degrees.

One of the passengers, 37-year old Ignacio Roman-Bahena of Omaha, could not swim. He was able to keep his head above the water for a short time. However, the others were unable to rescue him before he went face down.

Efforts to perform CPR on Roman-Bahena were unsuccessful. There were no life jackets on the boat.

Involved in the response and investigation: Nebraska Game & Parks, The Nebraska State Patrol, Otoe County Sheriff, and Nebraska City Fire & Rescue.

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