Boating Safety: Experts warn how to keep yourself safe

Reporter: Anika Henanger
Published: Updated:
Photo by WINK News.

On Friday, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Lani Kai Island Resort on Fort Myers Beach when a woman was fatally struck in the head by a boat propeller. LCSO confirmed the woman died from her injuries.

MORE: Woman struck by boat propeller dies on Fort Myers Beach 

Boating experts on Fort Myers Beach told WINK News about the severity and consequences you could face when dealing with a boat stuck on a sandbar Saturday.

Olivia Johnson, co-owner of Marina Mike’s Boat Club & Rentals on FMB, said if people are trying to push a boat off a sandbar, a person operating the boat should not turn the engine on.

“Even if the propeller is in neutral, if somebody was to accidentally hit the gear, that prop goes in motion, and it’s deadly,” Johnson said.

Tyler Bates with Bay Breeze South Boat Rentals on FMB, said running the boat while it’s on the sandbar can also damage the boat.

“If you’re engine is stuck in the sand, that can destroy the propeller,” Bates said. “And that’s a hefty fee as well.”

Johnson said there are also consequences for marine life when running a boat that is beached.

“If they cannot see their surroundings, no, you do not overboard, because there could be oyster beds, Johnson said.

It is unclear what lead up to the accident. The incident is still be investigated, and the victim’s name has not been released.

A good Samaritan told WINK News she tried to save the woman’s life. The witness chose to remain anonymous but her account of the incident was shared in the video above.

Trust WINK News to update you as more information becomes available. 

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