The Missouri Highway Patrol said the accident happened about 10:34 a.m. Saturday on the 34 mile mark of the main channel during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. (Photo via YouTube)
LAKE OF THE OZARKS, MO (KCTV) -
Two men are recovering after a high-speed crash during a boat race at Lake of the Ozarks.
The Missouri Highway Patrol said the accident happened at 10:34 a.m. Saturday on the 34-mile mark of the main channel during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.
Troopers say the drivers, Joel Begin, 47, of Valley Field, Quebec, and Michael Fiore, 44, of Bristol, RI, lost control of their catamaran at high speeds due to wind interference.
The 42-foot Outerlimits catamaran then went airborne, overturning twice before re-entering the water bow first. It then came to a rest end-over-end on the water.
A race spectator caught the accident on video and posted it on YouTube.
Warning explicit language: Watch raw video of the high-speed crash during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Mobile users, click here to watch.
The vessel was racing at about 179 miles an hour when it flipped twice.
According to reports, Begin was taken to an area hospital, while Fiore had to be airlifted to a hospital in Columbia, MO.
The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout committee posted on their Facebook page that Fiore is still in critical but stable condition and Begin is doing well.
Nathan Bechtold witnessed the crash. He was covering the race for LakeExpo.com.
"It's absolutely awful," he said. "Your heart drops when you see something like that."
He was amazed that the two men survived.
"It's unbelievable because there are crashes that have not been half that ugly that people haven't walked away from or haven't survived at all," Bechtold said.
What caused the crash hasn't been determined, but the investigation could spark new safety measures.
"It's not clear if something went wrong inside the cockpit or outside the cockpit or a breeze at the wrong moment can spell disaster," Bechtold said. "Everybody is going to take a pretty sober look at what has been done and what can be done. These guys do know the risks. They know that if you're approaching 200 miles per hour that's part of the adrenaline rush."
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