Boy, 9, killed in Wolf River tubing accident - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Boy, 9, killed in Wolf River tubing accident

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A New Orleans family is in mourning after a day of fun on the Wolf River turned into tragedy. A tube tied to a boat slammed into a tree with three people riding on it, killing a 9-year-old boy.

"When I saw the mom run to the boat crying and the dad was screaming to leave everything and get on the boat that's whenever I knew something was bad. Whenever the mom got to the boat she just broke out into tears and was screaming," said Jaime Dennis who was out boating with his friends and family.  

It was shortly after 4pm when authorities got the call about 9-year-old Joseph Schmidt of New Orleans, who was injured on the water.  

"We got a call of a tubing accident on the Wolf River," said Jimmy Hester with the Department of Marine Resources. 

DMR officials say Schmidt was riding with two others when their boat turned a corner and the tube hit a tree. 

"The dad and the other brother were crying and the mom had ran to the boat and seen what happened. And they left all their stuff behind the camera, clothes and ice chest behind and they all took off. And I heard one of the kids say, he was still breathing and that's when I knew it was bad," said Dennis.  

Witnesses say when the boy fell off, his family rushed him back to Riverside Landing Boat Launch off Menge Avenue in Pass Christian, where he was picked up by AMR and brought to the hospital. Around two hours later he died.

As investigators work to uncover what caused the deadly accident, DMR officials say tubing always comes with dangerous risks. 

"They can be. It just determines how the people are pulling the boats and what speed and what area, how narrow the rivers are. But they can be dangerous," said Hester.  

DMR officials say the boy was wearing a life jacket and was on the tube with two siblings.  

"I've been on boats my whole life. I actually work on shrimp boat and oyster boat out at the Pass harbor and I've actually never seen anything happen like this. I mean I've seen people fall off boats. I've seen boats flip. But I've never seen anybody get hurt like this, for it to happen to a kid that was heartbreaking," said Dennis.

The investigation is still ongoing. DMR officials are still talking to witnesses and trying to determine whether negligence and alcohol where involved in the accident. DMR is also still investigating another tubing accident that happened on the Biloxi River on Saturday.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • State flag flies over OS city hall again

    State flag flies over OS city hall again

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 10:38 AM EST2017-11-22 15:38:54 GMT
    Mississippi's state flag returns to the Ocean Springs City Hall flag pole (Photo Source: WLOX News Now)Mississippi's state flag returns to the Ocean Springs City Hall flag pole (Photo Source: WLOX News Now)

    At 7:30 Wednesday morning, Ocean Springs city workers stepped up to the city hall flag pole. They hooked Mississippi's state flag underneath the American flag, and they raised both flags over the city hall grounds. And just like that, five days of debate over whether the state flag should fly in Ocean Springs temporarily came to an end.

    More >>

    At 7:30 Wednesday morning, Ocean Springs city workers stepped up to the city hall flag pole. They hooked Mississippi's state flag underneath the American flag, and they raised both flags over the city hall grounds. And just like that, five days of debate over whether the state flag should fly in Ocean Springs temporarily came to an end.

    More >>
  • Hancock Co. murder suspects to appear in court

    Hancock Co. murder suspects to appear in court

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 9:19 AM EST2017-11-22 14:19:39 GMT

    The father and son charged with killing Philip Whitaker will make their initial appearance in court Wednesday. A court clerk says Carl and Terry Smith will be in Hancock County Justice Court sometime today. Hancock County Sheriff’s Department investigators arrested Terry Smith and his son, Carl Smith Tuesday after questioning them about Whitaker's shooting death.

    More >>

    The father and son charged with killing Philip Whitaker will make their initial appearance in court Wednesday. A court clerk says Carl and Terry Smith will be in Hancock County Justice Court sometime today. Hancock County Sheriff’s Department investigators arrested Terry Smith and his son, Carl Smith Tuesday after questioning them about Whitaker's shooting death.

    More >>
  • Robots and hip replacement surgery are changing lives

    Robots and hip replacement surgery are changing lives

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 9:12 PM EST2017-11-22 02:12:37 GMT

    Alan Fike from Ocean Springs is getting around pretty well since his left hip replacement surgery in May. 

    More >>

    Alan Fike from Ocean Springs is getting around pretty well since his left hip replacement surgery in May. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly