On Monday, July 3, 2017, at 7:58 p.m., an unidentified female juvenile was operating Robert Noftz’s boat on Lake Shasta in front of Digger Bay. Because the juvenile driver is under 16 years of age, she has to be supervised by someone over 18 years of age. Noftz was the person supervising the underage operator and three other unidentified juveniles in the boat.
The juvenile was pulling the unidentified 12-year-old male victim around on a tube when the victim told the operator to try and knock him off the tube. The operator attempted to knock the victim off the tube, but turned the boat too sharp and hit a wake from the boat. The boat was now heading towards the victim. The victim, who was wearing a Coast Guard approved life jacket, got off the tube in an attempt to get away from the boat. The victim was unable to get out of the way and was struck by the boat. The victim went under the bow of the boat and disappeared. The victim’s life jacket was found floating behind the boat. The life jacket had damage consistent with being struck by a propeller.
Robert Noftz, 50 years of age from Red Bluff, Ca, was in command of the boat due to the age of the operator, even though he was not driving at the time of the accident. He was arrested for boating under the influence charges and booked into the Shasta County Jail.
The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit, Dive Team, and the California Highway Patrol Helicopter searched the area in and around Digger Bay for the victim today and were unable to locate him.
The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit and Dive Team will continue to search for the victim on July 5, 2017.
The Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit is continuing to investigate the accident and has contacted all known witnesses. If anyone else witnessed the accident, they are encouraged to contact the Shasta County Sheriff’s Boating Safety Unit at 245-6075.