(BLOOMINGTON) - Indiana Conservation Officers were called to Monroe Reservoir after a boating accident injured 69-year-old Robert Gilliland, of Bloomington
At approximately 7:30 am Saturday, Gilliland and his fishing partner were motoring across the water near Hook's Point Marina on the east side of Monroe Reservoir.
Witnesses stated, Gilliland's 2008 Ranger Bass boat was plowing through the water when it struck a submerged object, causing the boat to stop in its tracks and then swing in a circle.
Officer Jay Nobel says, the spin caused Gilliland to be thrown from the boat, injuring his back, and his fishing partner to be tossed around within the boat.
Hitting the submerged object also caused the lower unit of the boat motor to be ripped off.
A nearby boater was able to help the injured Gilliland into a boat and towed the disabled boat back to Cutright Ramp. Gilliland was transported to IU Health Hospital in Bloomington by ambulance.
According to Noble, "Many of the Bass Tournaments require the participants to wear their life jackets while underway.
Gilliland was lucky he was wearing on Saturday, Noble says.
"With his injuries, the cold temperature of the water and the force with which he hit, having his life jacket on may very well have saved his life," Nobel says.
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