13-year-old boy airlifted for head injury after boats collide in Bokeelia

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Pieces of a boat dangled into the water as law enforcement officials towed it in to Pineland Marina. The boat collided with another vessel Friday afternoon.

Officials say a 13-year-old boy had to be taken to the hospital by helicopter with a bad head injury.

The boat was parked at the dock for hours as officials talked to witnesses to piece together what happened. The right side suffered a good amount of damage from the collision.

According to the FWC, all others on board the vessels received minor to no injuries and were not transported to the hospital. There were five people on board one vessel and three people on board the other.

Fellow boaters say the whole incident looked like a classic case of someone not paying very close attention while out on the water.

“That’s a Sea Vee boat, that’s a very well made boat and that thing took a good hit,” said boat captain Joe Lanktree.  “It looks like someone hit it then turned away from it and chopped up that hull pretty good.”

Lanktree says the whole episode could have easily been avoided.

“When you’re on the water, you get so many people out here and you get people that say…I took my boater safety course, and that doesn’t make you invincible. I got a 110 master captain’s license, that doesn’t make me invincible. You have to be paying attention,” he said.

Several other boaters say that there is an area with blind spots off the coast of Bokeelia, but officials haven’t released exactly where this crash took place.

“Every minute, I take a 360 degree view and look around and see what’s going on, what’s coming at me, what’s leaving me,” Lanktree said.

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