A 15-year-old Beaufort girl needed 40 stitches and surgery to place a screw in her foot after she was struck by the propeller of the boat that had been towing her on an inner-tube last week, according to the girl's mother.
Alayna Clark is now recovering at home after spending two days at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, her mother Renee Noack said.
Clark and six other friends of about the same age were tubing behind a boat Friday afternoon in waters near the J.E. McTeer Bridge, between Port Royal and Lady's Island, Noack said.
Clark and her boyfriend had been tubing together behind the craft, but both fell off and needed to be picked up, Noack said.
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As the boat circled back to retrieve the pair, the bow struck Clark, driving her beneath the boat, Noack said. Clark was wearing a life jacket at the time, her mother added.
When Clark surfaced behind the boat, the propeller struck her foot, her mother said. The boyfriend was uninjured, she added.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources is investigating, Noack said. Attempts Monday to a reach a DNR officer were unsuccessful.
After Alayna was back on the boat, she and her friends discovered her injury and flagged down another boat for help. That vessel was piloted by off-duty emergency medical services workers who called an ambulance, Noack said.
The other boaters were able to deliver Alayna to an ambulance waiting at the Port Royal Landing Marina, her mother said.
The boat belonged to one of the children's parents and the girl driving at the time has a boating license, Noack said. She declined to provide the names of the other children on the boat.
Drugs and alcohol were not a factor, she added.
"The kids weren't doing anything wrong, they just weren't paying attention," Noack said.
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Woman struck by boat propeller off Port Royal, May 24, 2014