A 62 year old man was arrested by Pinellas Deputies for operating a boat under the influence after a horrible crash off Indian Rocks Beach.
Deputies say Kirk Johnson was operating a 23′ foot Yamaha jet boat (on Saturday 8/24/19) while he was under the influence, which he ultimately crashed into a 21′ foot Grady White boat. The accident occurred in the Intracoastal Waterway, east of 373 12th. Avenue, in Indian Rocks Beach.
Police say the operator of the Grady White reported that as the boats approached each other, he noticed Johnson (in the Yamaha boat) weaving back and forth, suddenly bee-lining straight toward him. The Grady White operator tried to steer out of Johnson’s way, but could not avoid the collision.
Johnson’s Jet Boat struck the rear of the Grady White, causing extensive damage, ripping off the outboard motor and exposing the transom. Johnson and his five passengers on the Yamaha, were all ejected.
Deputies say Johnson’s riderless boat went out of control, continuing to circle the area before crashing into a nearby boat and dock.
Johnson was arrested and taken into custody to the Pinellas County Jail, after a poor performance on a field sobriety test. Being under the influence while operating a boat is called Boating Under The Influence.
A 68-year-old passenger from the Yamaha vessel and a 16-year-old passenger from the Grady White were taken to local hospitals for treatment. There were no life threatening injuries. Deputies credit good samaritans with assisting in helping rescue boaters from the water.
The Grady White had extensive damage and subsequently sunk. The United States Coast Guard will ultimately be in charge of the removal of wreckage in coming days.
For more on the story and Johnson’s mugsot go to: ABC Action News
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