PAGE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A Colorado family says their vacation to Lake Powell in July was ruined because of a large wake from a tour boat. They allege that the wake sank their ski boat.
"We were just driving, taking pictures. My little one was sleeping. [It was a] beautiful day, actually," said Candie Olin, who was on Lake Powell with her husband and two children on July 10.
That all changed, according to Olin, when a tour boat blew past them in the vicinity of Rainbow Bridge.
"It was massive. I mean there [are] no other boats that I’ve seen out there that put out not even close to the same kind of wake," said Michael Gill, who is Olin's husband.
"That was my worst nightmare-- getting on a boat, being in the middle of a big lake and our boat sinking. And you have no control over what’s going to happen," said Olin.
The couple said jet skiers and a fishing boat helped to rescue their children and tow their sinking speed boat to the shore. Photographs obtain by CBS 5 Investigates show the submerged boat and a human chain of people reaching from the shore to the sunken vessel.
"There [were] probably close to 30 people helping us," said Gill.
According to federal boating accident data, Lake Powell accounts for more boating incidents than any other body of water in Arizona. Only a few of the injuries are attributed to wakes or wakes from tour boats-- but those injuries tend to be severe.
CBS 5 Investigates has documented previous complaints against the tour boat or boats in question in this incident. A passenger suffered a broken back in at least two of the other incidents. A third person injured this summer may file legal action against the tour boat operator-- Aramark.
A spokesman for Aramark emailed the following statement:
We work with the Coast Guard and National Park Service on an ongoing basis to ensure our tour boats are safe and properly permitted to operate on Lake Powell. Furthermore, as a designated concessioner for Lake Powell, we take seriously our responsibility for complying with rules regulating tour boat operations and safely sharing and navigating the waterways with all boaters and recreational watercraft users.