REPUBLICAN CITY — A collision of two personal watercraft on the Harlan County Reservoir near here on Saturday sent a Kenesaw woman to the hospital with injuries, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reported.

The 60-year-old woman was taken to the Phelps County Memorial Health Center in Holdrege with unspecified injuries. Her name wasn’t released.

According to a news release Monday from the Game and Parks Commission, the woman and a 33-year-old male relative from Kearney each were operating personal watercraft about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Fourth of July.

As they accelerated to leave Patterson Harbor on the lake’s south shore, the male operator’s watercraft struck the woman’s watercraft from behind, and she was thrown into the water.

The male operator was uninjured. He was cited for No Boater Safety Education, the commission said.

Boater education is required of all boat operators, including those of personal watercraft, born after Dec. 31, 1985.

Commission conservation officers are investigating the crash. Alcohol isn’t suspected to be a contributing factor.

As part of the news release reporting Saturday’s crash, Game and Parks included the following safety reminders for boaters:

  • Be aware of the presence of other boats, swimmers, skiers and tubers, as they could be coming from any direction.
  • Maintain a safe distance between your vessel and other vessels and operate only at safe speeds for the conditions.
  • All vessels must operate at a maximum of 5 mph with no wake within 30 yards of any other vessel, harbor, landing pier, marina, fishing pier, anchorage or bathing beach.
  • Make sure that your vessel has all of the required safety equipment. Personal flotation devices are required for every passenger and must be worn at all times by personal watercraft operators and any youth under the age of 13. Have the proper equipment necessary to towing skiers and tubers.
  • Know the rules on the water body you are boating.
  • Avoid alcohol when boating.
  • Keep an eye on the weather.

For more information on boating in Nebraska, visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/boating.

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