Pretty certain this isn't right at all. The boat the injured boy was in struck a rock which was placed central in the channel prior to the tunnel. This catapulted him out, striking that rock and severing his ear. The rock was removed prior to reopening. The boat never capsized and I don't think I've ever heard anyone say another boat was involved, although I don't know that for sure. The speed of the turntable will always create a natural gap between the boats as they accelerate away once they free from it. The chances of them being near each other that early in the ride are minimal as it is all fast flowing until after the caves. If boats being near each other were that dangerous the design of the rest of the ride would be amended to prevent it, but it wasn't and they do collide safely even with the spacing on the conveyor. I believe the spacer was always there. Thunder River was from from being the first of its type, spacing the boats to allow easy boarding and constant flow was well established in the type before this installation.