The head-on collision of two recreational boats on the Colorado River on Saturday has left four people missing and 12 others injured. The accident happened almost 300 miles east of Los Angeles along part of the river that runs along the border of California and Arizona. Moabi Recreational Park was a busy location with people celebrating the Labor Day holiday. The boat in which the two missing people were passengers was submerged as a result of the collision, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune.
A spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire District says that one of those hurt in the accident was a woman who sustained life-threatening injuries and was taken to the University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Nine others were hospitalized with less serious injuries.
Both local authorities and other recreational boat owners searched the area Saturday, but the bodies of the two presumed dead have not yet been recovered. Officials deemed it too dangerous to allow divers in the water after dark but planned to resume their search Sunday morning. Water depth in the area is shallow in some areas but can be as deep as 30 feet in other areas. Some passengers in the boats were thrown into the water upon collision while others jumped. The water carried all of them some distance down the river, some as far as three to five miles from the site of the collision.A sonar of the area where the accident happened has been conducted and the submerged boat belonging to the missing passengers located. The other boat involved in the collision was also submerged. Immediately after the collision, people on passing boats helped pull victims from the river water.
NBC News reports that officials used helicopters to search the area when efforts resumed Sunday morning. The Mohave County Sheriff's Office also stated that divers were in the area to conduct a search and warned boaters in the area to do so with caution.
The Colorado River runs 1,450 miles from La Poudre Pass Lake in the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. It runs through Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California in the U.S. as well as Baja California and Sonora in Mexico. The average depth is 20 feet, but holes as deep as 90 feet can be found beneath the Colorado River. It's one of the most desirable rivers for whitewater rafters. Eleven U.S. national parks are located along its route.