Low limb knocks out boater on Current River

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

DONIPHAN, Mo. -- A boating excursion on Current River on Saturday afternoon sent a Poplar Bluff, Mo., man to an area hospital, where he underwent surgery for facial injuries suffered when he was struck by a limb hanging over the water.

Hershel Knuckles, 49, had surgery Sunday at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau for a broken bone in his face, according to Missouri State Water Patrolman David Nelson, District 4's public information officer.

Knuckles had been injured about 4 p.m. Saturday when he was operating a shoal runner upstream near Worley's Rock, Nelson said.

Knuckles was turning around to "go back down river when he made a hard turn to the left," Nelson said. "There was a limb hanging out over the water. As they were making the turn, they went under the limb and Mr. Knuckles was struck in the face with the limb."

Knuckles was knocked unconscious but is thought to have stayed in the boat, which was occupied by four other people, Nelson said.

"They actually drove the boat down to the boat ramp" where emergency personnel were contacted, Nelson said.

Knuckles initially was taken to Ripley County Memorial Hospital in Doniphan for treatment of moderate injuries after he was hurt.

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