Boating Accident News 12/24/2013

By Kristy Moore posted 12-30-2013 03:41 PM

Boat sinks, 63-year-old couple survive 150-yard swim to shore 12-23-13 – La Conner, WA
A 63-year-old couple was found suffering severe hypothermia Monday after their boat capsized off Kiket island and they held onto the boat for 15 minutes before deciding to swim 150 yards to shore. According to the news site, Skagit County sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Baldwin said the couple were taken to Island Hospital in Anacortes and it appeared they would be OK. Baldwin said the couple had been crabbing on the northwest side of the island around 2 p.m. when a line got entangled in the propeller of their 17-foot boat. The stern got turned into the wind and waves swamped the boat, he told The couple, whose names were not released, held onto the capsized boat for about 15 minutes before deciding to swim the 150 yards to shore, Baldwin said. “They were in the water for close to 30 minutes,” he said. “… Their life jackets saved their life.”
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Fort Pickens boating accident claims one life 12-19-13 – Fort Pickens, FL
One man is dead after an overnight boating accident near Fort Pickens.
The man and his friend went fishing yesterday afternoon. Their boat overturned and they were forced to spend the night in the water. 20 year old Brent Wilson and 24 year old Brett Keller went fishing in a 12 foot John Boat around 4 pm yesterday.  They launched the boat from the Navy Point ramp. A little after sunset a large wave overcame the boat and flipped it. Both men were able to retrieve life-vests put them on, then grab a hold of the boat which had re-emerged.  The men held on to the boat for several hours until around midnight Brett Keller for some reason that is unknown at this time took his life vest off and went under the water.  Brent Wilson was able to hold on to the boat and eventually drifted toward the shoreline near the fishing pier at Fort Pickens.  Once on land he began trying to look for help. Wilson couldn't find anyone so he walked eight miles to the Tom Thumb on Fort Pickens Road to call for help.  Investigators eventually found the boat and Brent Keller washed up on the shore to the east of the fishing pier on Fort Pickens. FWC is investigating this as a boating accident. Read full story here.
Man dies after water scooter and boat collide 12-22-13 – Charlotte County, FL
One woman was seriously injured, and a Kansas man has died, after a boating accident Sunday afternoon near Placida in Charlotte County. The accident occurred about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, when a motorboat and a water scooter collided while entering Stump Pass in Lemon Bay, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators. The operator of the water scooter, Lee Hollis, 54, of Leawood, Kan., was transported to an area hospital where he died today. Doctors had amputated one of his legs Sunday because of injuries suffered in the accident, said Dee Hawkins, a spokeswoman for Charlotte County Fire and EMS, which responded to the incident. All four occupants of the motorboat were ejected into the water during the crash, Hawkins said, and a 38-year-old woman who suffered a traumatic chest injury was transported by helicopter ambulance to Lee Memorial Hospital in Ft. Meyers. A 43-year-old man operating the boat, a 40-year-old female passenger, and a 12-year-old male passenger suffered minor injuries and were treated at Englewood Community Hospital. People who witnessed the accident from a nearby sailboat helped rescue the injured people and called authorities. The cause of the accident is still being investigated, said Gary Morse, a spokesman for the state Fish and Wildlife agency. Initial reports suggest both vehicles were traveling south into Stump Pass when the motorboat and water scooter collided, and investigators suspect alcohol was a factor in the accident.
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Body of missing boater recovered 12-22-13 – Plaquemine, LA
Officials have recovered the body of a boater reported missing after launching from Bayou Pigeon landing. WBRZ-TV reports ( the body of 37-year-old Brent Joseph LeBlanc, of Central, La. was found at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday about a mile from his boat. The boat was found about a mile southwest of the landing. Rescue personnel from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office, Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office and the Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office were involved with the search effort. LeBlanc's friend reported him missing about 4 p.m. Saturday after he didn't show up at their camp and they found his boat empty. Officials say LeBlanc was found without a flotation device. Alcohol is not suspected to be a factor.
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Coast Guard searches for missing boater 12-20-13 - Miami, FL
The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a missing man after his boat was found abandoned in the waters off Jupiter Beach in Miami, Friday. Authorities have been unable to locate 64-year-old Dominic Porcaro, the owner of the 26-foot vessel called "Happy Day Tree." Crews continue to search for Porcaro by both air and sea. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is currently investigating the disappearance. Read full story here.
2 boating accident victims identified 12-20-13 – Dania Beach, FL
Authorities have identified the two victims of a deadly boating accident that rocked a South Florida neighborhood, Friday. Fifty-six-year old David Duda was killed when the boat he was in collided into the Old Griffin Road bridge, just after 6 p.m. Police said the area is supposed to a no wake zone for the protection manatees, but neighbor Cindy Wills said many boaters don't pay attention. "As it turns and goes further west down the canal, people will do at least 10, 15, 20 miles an hour right down the canal," she said. Authorities said the woman driving the boat was 50-year-old Marcela Hewett. She remains at Broward Health Medical Center and is not facing any charges.
Read full story here.

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