On June 18, 2017, at 2:04 p.m., Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit deputies were dispatched to a sinking vessel near Sugarloaf Marina, in the Sacramento Arm, on Shasta Lake. Dispatch advised passing boaters were helping the occupants of the sinking vessel. The deputies arrived in the Point Paul area, south of Sugarloaf Marina. The deputies found all five family members, unhurt, on a good citizen’s houseboat. One of the family members was a two-year child. The 16 foot, open bow, Renault sank in forty feet of water prior to the deputies’ arrival. The Renault boat was a lower profile boat.
The boat operator, Darrell Mougeotte, told the deputies that he and his family were traveling, at approximately 20 mph, Northwest up the Sacramento Arm by Point Paul. A larger sports craft vessel passed him going southbound within a 100-foot proximity. The sports craft vessel cause a significant wake. Mougeotte continued northbound and saw the wake approaching his bow. Mougeotte immediately came off throttle and off plane. The Renault slowed its forward motion and the bow of the boat dipped down. The first wake went over the bow and swamped the Renault. Two additional wakes came over the bow and sunk the boat as the Mougeotte family members exited the boat to safety. All five members of the family were wearing life vests when the accident happened.
This boating accident could have been tragic had the family not been wearing life jackets. The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit would like to remind the boating public to please wear your life vest while operating a vessel.