Illinois DNR: More Details On Deadly Jet Ski Inc - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Illinois DNR: More Details On Deadly Jet Ski Incident


The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has issued a news release on the circumstances of a fatal boating accident on the Rock River. According to witnesses, two men were riding personal watercraft upstream from the low head dam Sunday afternoon, circling within 50 feet of the structure.

They were reportedly operating in an area between buoys marked "No Boats" and the dam.  Witnesses report that the pair rode over the dam and attempted to operate back upstream and over the dam a second time.                     

The first operator, 40-year-old Shane Ekin of Cambridge, Ill., was reportedly ejected from his jet ski and thrown into the "boil" or circulating turbulent water below the dam. The second operator, identified as 42-year-old Anthony K. Sovey, also of  Cambridge, entered the boil on his jet ski and attempted to rescue his friend. Sovey was also ejected from his jet ski, but was able to cling to a partially submerged tree while witnesses called for help.

The DNR says both jet ski operators were wearing life jackets. Ekin was pulled under the rushing water and died. His body was recovered downstream from the dam. Sovey was rescued and taken to a hospital where he was treated and released.

Officers and rescue personnel from the Illinois Conservation Police, Milan Police Department, Rock Island County Sheriff's Office, Rock Island Fire Department, Blackhawk Fire Department, an Arsenal Fire crews responded to the scene.  A MedForce Helicopter also responded to the area, but wasn't used in the rescue.

Members of the Backwater Gamblers Ski Team were also on the scene and were instrumental in the rescue efforts.

Illinois Conservation Police warns other boaters to stay clear of river dams.

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