Accident Database

Report ID# 809

  • Caught in Low Head Dam Hydraulic
  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Does not Apply
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

Two men were presumed dead after a motorboat they were test-driving washed over a dam on the Great Miami River near Hamilton, Ohio. Kevin Lodder, 24, and Danny Brodnick, 49, were in the boat when the motor on a 26-foot cabin cruiser stalled out above the dam. Lodder was an employee of the company that was offering the boat for sale to Brodnick; neither was wearing a PFD for this test run.

A bystander saw the boat turn sideways in the hydraulic and flip. People were seen clinging to the boat as it bounced and twisted, then bodies were spotted floating in the river later. The bodies were found two days later. Rescuers had their hands full getting the very large craft to shore.This dam is only 3 feet high, which is testimony to the effect of even small "drowning machines." It is not known whether PFDs would have helped either of these two.

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