A three year old boy has been critically injured in a mysterious boat accident in the Darwin region of Australia.

The boy is currently fighting for his life in a Darwin hospital as authorities try to piece together a picture of the circumstances surrounding the accident. A 34 year old relative of the boy was also seriously injured in the accident, and remains in a critical condition.

The father of the boy was also on the boat at the time, but sustained only minor injuries and has since been released from hospital.

According to initial reports from authorities, the boat in which the child and the two adults were travelling capsized after colliding with dredging equipment while on their way back to the Elizabeth River bridge boat ramp from a fishing trip. The collision occurred at approximately 8.30pm. There is a 250m wide exclusion area surrounding the dredging operation, however according to the father of the child, there were no warning lights visible after dark.

It appears that the boat remained running after the collision and ran over the boy’s relative, who sustained severe leg injuries after he became tangled in the propeller, said Senior Sergeant Garry Smith, who is investigating the case. The boy sustained life threatening injuries as he was thrown from the boat, said Smith.

The 28 year old father pulled his injured son and the relative out of the water onto the boat, and then pushed the vessel back to the shore where he was able to call for assistance. The boy and his relative, thought to be his uncle, were treated by paramedics at the scene and transported to Royal Darwin Hospital for further management.

According to Senior Sergeant Paul Faustmann of the Darwin Water Police, a thorough investigation is being conducted in order to determine how the small fishing boat was able to get near the dredging equipment which is well demarcated.

Ian Niblock, the harbour master of Darwin Harbor, said that there are sufficient safety measures in place surrounding the dredging operation, which is being conducted as part of the government’s Marine Supply Base project. According to Niblock, the dredging area is well lit and there are clearly visible, flashing warning lights within a 250 metre radius of the dredging operation.

Niblock urged all boat users to take extra precautions when entering the harbor at this time, due to increased activity and water traffic in the area.


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