Death of two in accident highlights dangers of boating

Last month, two men were killed and a woman injured in a Florida boating accident in St. John’s County when a 16-foot motorboat crashed into a dock off the Pelican Reef neighborhood. The boat, according to media reports, had been heading north when it crashed into the dock and caused the two men, both 52-years-old, and the woman to be thrown into the water. None of the accident victims were wearing lifejackets.

The 50-year-old woman involved in the accident, the wife of one of the boaters, was hurt but has since recovered to a stable condition after medical care. The men both died at the scene. The three were apparently returning to the Vilano Bato ramp after a fishing trip when the accident occurred.

Three fishermen who witnessed the accident reportedly said the boat flew past them at full throttle, and that they heard the crash and responded. They ended up saving the woman’s life.  Following the accident, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers investigated the accident to determine the cause. That investigation is apparently ongoing and officers are hoping to interview the woman involved in the accident to learn more about what took place.

The man who had been operating the boat was reportedly familiar with the waters, but the docks in the area of the accident go out into the water about 110 feet to the drop-off point, and there was also a strong tidal current and no moon.

It isn’t clear whether alcohol was a factor in the accident. In any case, the accident is a good reminder of the risks of boating.

Source: Jacksonville.com, “Two die in boat crash,” May 28, 2013.