June 2, 2015: Nicole Berthiaume, 19, of Auburn Massachusetts, sustained serious personal injuries in a boating accident near Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor. Berthiaume jumped into the water to retrieve a seat cushion, which had blown off of the boat. As she attempted to climb back aboard, her arm was severed by the propeller of the boat. The accident occurred in the late afternoon last Saturday.
Members of the U.S. Coast Guard responded to distress calls and arrived at the scene shortly after the accident. They were able to stop the bleeding, but were unable to save Berthiaume’s arm. She was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for further treatment. Subsequently search efforts to locate the arm were unsuccessful.
According to police, the captain of the boat was operating under the influence of alcohol, and when questioned by police, refused any field sobriety tests. He later allegedly consented to a breath test and was over the legal limit for both land and water.
The operator of the boat was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Monday and was charged with operating a boat while under the influence causing serious bodily injury, negligent operation of a boat, and operating a motorboat without a legally required identification number. He has pleaded not guilty, and was released on $75,000 bail. The accident remains under investigation.