First Responders, as well as those who live in the area, say the amateur sailors from Boy Scout Troop 620 were paddling down Alley Creek in a catamaran, when the 30-foot metal mast either hit or came close enough to where a power line arched and the voltage came in contact with the mast. The contact caused two boys to be electrocuted.
An 16-year-old was thrown from the boat into the water, where he died. An 18-year-old died while still on the boat.
An 11-year-old was rescued by Boy Scout Troop masters who saw the incident unfold and paddled about 200 yards to the boat that was on fire. He was taken to a Shreveport medical center.
Community members have set up a GoFundMe for the 11-year-old, who family members identified as Thomas Larry.
Thomas’s mother says her son’s lungs have not functioned on their own since the accident. He also received a blood transfusion at the hospital.
KETK crews on scene say Upshur County Rural Electric Cooperative was on scene Sunday taking a look at the power line the boys hit. When asked about the tragedy, the electric company employees had no comment.
The catamaran was taken to a private warehouse in Marion County for reconstruction.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is taking over the investigation.East Texas Area Council, BSA Scout Executive & CEO Dewayne Stephens released the following statement:“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. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families. We will support them in any way that we can. I would like to thank the emergency teams who responded and assisted our Scouts and volunteers throughout this incident.”