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Firefighter Presumed Dead After Personal Watercraft Accident

Kansas City Star via YellowBrix

August 16, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Missouri State Water Patrol is investigating what’s presumed to be a fatal accident this evening involving a personal watercraft on Longview Lake.

The watercraft collided with a deck boat, killing the man on the watercraft, officials said. The accident occurred about 6 p.m. near the Longview Lake Beach.

The victim, a Kansas City firefighter believed to be about 50 years old, was on the lake with a group of people in the deck boat, said Lt. Ralph Bledsoe, assistant district commander of the water patrol.

Authorities were told that the victim went underwater after the collision, Bledsoe said, and a shredded life jacket came to the surface.

Using sonar, workers from the water patrol, the Lee’s Summit Underwater Rescue and Recovery Team and the Kansas City Fire Department are trying to find the man’s body. The driver of the deck boat is with them, helping to pinpoint the location.

The recovery effort could continue into the night if the lake can be illuminated enough, Bledsoe said.