PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (CW44 News At 10) – Deputies assigned to the Marine Unit have rescued a stranded boater after their vessel took on water and sunk.
The incident occurred at about 5:13 p.m. on Friday, July 17, 2020 and happened in the water under the Tom Stuart Causeway in Madeira Beach.
According to investigators, deputies were dispatched to the Tom Stuart Causeway 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.
Local resident, 68-year-old, David Johnson paddled his dingy to the causeway to dislodge the boat from the Causeway. The heavy storm caused his vessel to
take on water and sink. Johnson became trapped between pilings and the sailboat and was unable to rescue himself.
Sergeant Ron Blair and Deputy Jayson Young arrived at the Causeway and rescued Johnson from the water. They used their Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
vessel to tow the sailboat from the Causeway and brought Johnson to waiting paramedics on land.
Johnson was treated for minor injuries and released by paramedics.
He was wearing a life vest.