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COAST GUARDSMAN HURT AS JET SKI RAMS PATROL BOAT

A Coast Guardsman suffered minor injuries Sunday morning when a Jet Ski crashed into a Coast Guard boat patrolling the Buffalo River.

Guardsman Jason Sammons, 20, was taken to Sisters Hospital, where he was treated for a hand injury and was released, Duty Officer Jon Stehn said.

Sammons and another guardsman were patrolling the river between the Buffalo Coast Guard Base and Erie Basin Marina at about 11:30 a.m. when they observed a Jet Ski operating at high speed, Stehn said.

The guardsmen told the Jet Ski operator, whose name was not released, to approach the Coast Guard boat.

While approaching the guardsmen, the operator lost control of the Jet Ski and ran into the side of the boat, Stehn said.

It was the first time that the man, who could face civil charges, operated a Jet Ski, Stehn said.

"The operator borrowed a friend's Jet Ski, and he didn't know what he was doing," Stehn said.

Stehn said reckless operation of the recreational craft is a chronic problem on Western New York waterways this time of year. Eight of 10 Jet Ski accidents involve collisions with another craft, he said.

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