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Pinellas Deputies Rescue Boater After Dinghy Sinks During Storm

Tom Stuart Causeway | Madeira Beach | TB Reporter

He was wearing a life vest. He suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene, deputies say.

MADEIRA BEACH – Deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office rescued a stranded boater after his dinghy sank under the Tom Stuart Causeway during a storm.

The boater, David Johnson, 68, suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene. He was wearing a life vest.

Deputies said they were dispatched to the Tom Stuart Causeway about 5:13 p.m. Friday (July 17) for a boater trapped in the water during a heavy storm.

An empty, 30-foot sailboat had broken its anchor during a heavy lightning storm and drifted into the Tom Stuart Causeway. Johnson had paddled his dinghy to the causeway to dislodge the boat but a heavy storm caused his vessel to take on water and sink. Deputies said Johnson became trapped between pilings and the sailboat and was unable to rescue himself.

Pinellas sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Blair and Deputy Jayson Young arrived at the Causeway and rescued Johnson from the water. They used a sheriff’s office vessel to tow the sailboat from the Causeway and to take Johnson to waiting paramedics on land.


Pinellas Sheriff | Boater Rescued | Tampabay News | News Tampa

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