Greenwich Police Call Teen's Tubing Death 'A Tragic Accident'

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Greenwich police Lt. Kraig Gray is among the responders at the fatal tubing accident in the waters off Greenwich Point Park.
Greenwich police Lt. Kraig Gray is among the responders at the fatal tubing accident in the waters off Greenwich Point Park. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
The Greenwich Police Department Marine Section responded to the fatal accident on Long Island Sound.
The Greenwich Police Department Marine Section responded to the fatal accident on Long Island Sound. Photo Credit: Greenwich Police Department
The accident occurred in the waters near the Old Greenwich Yacht Club on Wednesday.
The accident occurred in the waters near the Old Greenwich Yacht Club on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

GREENWICH, Conn. -- The death of a 16-year-old girl who was tubing on the waters of Long Island Sound was "a tragic accident," according to the Greenwich police. 

The unidentified Greenwich teen, who was a student at Greenwich High School, died Wednesday afternoon after she became entangled in a boat propeller while water-tubing with three other friends, said Greenwich police Lt. Kraig Gray. 

Four girls from Greenwich, all 16 years old, were boating off Greenwich Point Park, Gray said. The girls "were operating a privately owned recreational boat powered by an outboard motor," he said. 

The girls had been tubing, with the inner-tubes tethered to a motor boat that pulls them through the water, Gray said. "For a yet to be determined reason," he said, the two girls who had been tubing were in the water and came into contact with the propeller of the outboard engine.  

One girl sustained a fatal wound and died at the scene, Gray said.

A second girl was transported to the Stamford Hospital for a soft tissue injury to her leg that required extensive stitches, Gray said. She was reported in stable condition, he said.

The immediate families of all the involved teens have been notified, Gray said.  

The name of the teen who died was not released Wednesday to allow the parents to make notifications to the extended family, he said.

The personal assessment of the primary investigator on the scene was "this is a tragic accident," Gray said. 

The incident will continue to be investigated by the Greenwich Police Department Marine Section in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  

"Our thoughts and prayers go the victim, her family, and her friends," Gray said.

Superintendent of Schools William McKersie said the Greenwich Public School system is mourning one of its own.

"This evening, we are mourning the devastating loss of one of our Greenwich High School students, a rising junior, who was involved in a boating accident today on the Long Island Sound. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time of tragedy," he said in a statement issued Wednesday evening.

"There are few words that can express the deep compassion we feel for the family of the young girl that has died and for the three other girls involved in the accident. The Greenwich Public School community is ready to support the girls involved and their families in every way possible.

"Although school is not in session, we will make counselors available for the school communities at the appropriate time."

The accident occurred in an area of Long Island Sound near Great Captains Island, an island a short distance off the Greenwich coastline, he said.

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Yes, rickaroo, it's legal IF the person operating the boat has a certificate to do so. That information has not been released for this case, though it hardly matters at this point.

Such a sad story. Healing to all involved. I do have to ask - is it legal for a 16 year old to pilot a boat? I would want my 16 year old out with his friends.

If licensed there is no age restriction.