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Texas Boy Scouts Electrocuted in Deadly Boating Accident

Two Boy Scouts died Saturday after their sail boat hit a power line in Texas. Another boy scout was injured in the accident and airlifted to a nearby hospital.
Image: Boy Scouts stand on stage with a U.S. flag during the Pledge of Allegiance, April 12, 2014.
Boy Scouts stand on stage with a U.S. flag during the Pledge of Allegiance, April 12, 2014.Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Two Boy Scouts died and another was hospitalized after their sailboat hit a power line on Saturday, according to officials.

The three boys — ages 11, 16, and 18 — are members of a Boy Scout troop from Hallsville, Texas, officials said. Authorities did not release the names of the victims.

It is believed the vessel, a Hobiecat Catamaran sailboat, collided with an overhead transmission power line and those aboard the boat were likely electrocuted, according to a Texas Parks & Wildlife Department press release.

The 16-year-old and 18-year-old were found in the water, dead, near the Catamaran, TPWD said.

Bystanders were able to bring the 11-year-old, who was unresponsive, onto a nearby boat and began performing CPR until authorities arrived.

When game wardens arrived on scene the Catamaran was on fire with the sails up about 300 yards north of the power lines, according to the TPWD.

“This is an extremely difficult time for our Scouting family. We are very sad to confirm the deaths of two youth participants following a boating incident. A third youth has been airlifted to an area hospital after sustaining injuries," the Boy Scouts of America's East Texas Area Council CEO Dewayne Stephens wrote in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families. We will support them in any way that we can."

Staff at LSU Medical Center-Shreveport, where the surviving scout was reportedly airlifted, was unable to confirm the patient was in their care or what his status was, but said because he is a minor, his parents might have requested his information be kept private.

The incident happened at Alley Creek, located on Lake O’ The Pines Marina near Avinger, Texas, just before 2 p.m. on Saturday, according to the press release.

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“I would like to thank the emergency teams who responded and assisted our Scouts and volunteers throughout this incident,” Stephens said in his statement.

The accident is being investigated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s statewide boating accident reconstruction and mapping team, according to the release.