A 15-year-old boater was making such quick turns, according to witnesses, in the inlet by the Redington Shores Yacht and Tennis Club that other boats were being tossed around by its wake. Behind the boat were two other teens, riding in an inner tube as the 23-foot twin engine fishing boat darted around the waterway.
One quick turn sent one of the tubers flying off the raft while the other managed to hang on, only to slam into one of the docks lining the inlet. The tuber who held on did not survive the boating accident. The other tuber was taken to All Children's Hospital with cuts and bruises. The 15-year-old driver was cited for failing to have boater identification and for reckless boating.
The teens reportedly had taken the boat out without their parents' permission.
Residents along the inlet were not surprised by the reckless boating but were horrified by the fatal outcome. According to them, many boaters come speeding into the area off the Intercoastal waterway. It's a boating disaster waiting to happen.
Despite calls to local law enforcement about the thrill-seeking boaters who dangerously speed through the inlet, most manage to disappear before deputies arrive on scene.
Friends of the teen boaters in the fatal accident were stunned when told the details of what had happened. Hopefully, this tragic boating accident will be a wakeup call for other teens and boaters who recklessly endanger the lives of others enjoying Florida's coastal waters.
Source: MyFox Tampa Bay, "Teen killed as raft hits dock," Stef DiPietrantonio, July 17, 2012