Nightly News | July 29, 2013
>>> we are back tonight with a wake-up call on the potential hazards of boating right at the height of the season for going out on the water. this comes after two people were killed in an accident on the hudson river north of new york city , and it's bringing new attention to the issue of boating while under the influence. our report tonight from nbc's katy tur.
>>> lindsey stewart and brian bond were set to marry in just two weeks, but friday night tragedy. the speed boat they were riding into n slammed into a barge ejecting and skilling stewart and mark lennon , her fiance's best man.
>> i don't think you can put words to the fact of what we need to do to console these families, and i don't know that you can.
>> reporter: groom-to-be and three other passengers were seriously injured. police say they have reason to believe their friend, 35-year-old jojo john, was driving the boat while intoxicated. job has now been charged with vehicular manslaughter and assault. a horrific accident but one the u.s. coast guard says is all too common across the country. last year there were more than 4,500 boating accidents resulting in 3,000 injuries and 651 deaths. in 17% of those fatalities, alcohol was a factor. last august maryland delegate donald dwyer jr . was three times the legal limit when he crashed his boat injuring seven, including a 5-year-old girl.
>> it doesn't matter how many drinks you have. even one is too many to safely operate a boat. it requires all of your skills, both mental and physical to operate a boat out on the water.
>> reporter: concerned about the danger, the coast guard and state boating officials have increased patrols to get those boating under the influence off the water and during a recent nationwide sweep hundreds were arrested.
>>> back in pierment where the investigation continues, john works has a history of drug arrests, could be facing more charges. while some question whether the construction barges had enough lighting for boaters to safely navigate around them. lindsey stewart was just 30 years old. her funeral is now set for thursday in the same church she was supposed to be married in. katy tur, nbc news, pierment, new york.