The body of a 31-year-old Lincoln man has been recovered after he was dumped into the water at Pawnee Lake west of Lincoln when his inner tube overturned.
Officials with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission identify the victim as Travis Wilkins.
Game and Parks says Wilkins was riding on an inner tube being pulled by a jet ski when the accident occurred Friday. A frantic search for Wilkins proved fruitless. Another man and a four-year-old were also riding on the tube. Both reached the shore.
Searchers recovered Wilkins’ body Saturday evening.
In wake of the tragedy, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reminds anyone who visits a lake this summer to keep the following in mind:
- Wear a Life Jacket – Children under age 13 and anybody on a personal watercraft are required by law to wear a United States Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device. People being towed by a boat on skis, a tube, or other similar device also must wear a life jacket.
- Avoid Alcohol – Boat operators can become impaired with less alcohol than motor vehicle drivers due to heat and dehydration. Boating Under the Influence is a criminal violation and is enforced actively in Nebraska.
- Have All Required Safety Equipment – This will help boaters be prepared if an emergency occurs. Life jackets, throw cushions, fire extinguishers and bailing devices are required on most boats. For a list of what is required on a boat, check out the 2018 Boating Guide at OutdoorNebraska.org.
- Be Wary of Surroundings – The best boat operators constantly are looking around for other boats, personal watercraft, swimmers, stumps and other hazards. Speeds in excess of 5 mph are prohibited if within 30 yards of any other vessel
- Take a Boating Safety Course – Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1985, who operates a motorboat or personal watercraft in Nebraska must have successfully completed the Nebraska boating safety course. Find classes and register at OutdoorNebraska.org.