PINELLAS COUNTY, FL – A boating accident near the Dunedin Causeway over the weekend left one man severely injured, WFLA reports.
43-year-old Jose Rivera-Reyes was riding a Sea-Doo personal watercraft when he hit the back of a 28-foot Chaparral Bowrider at about 11:24 a.m. He was transported to Mease Hospital in Dunedin with what were described as life-threatening injuries.
The operator of the boat, 56-year-old David Steffano, was headed east with five people on board at the time of the accident. He told investigators he saw the personal watercraft speeding from the south to the north and that its bearing was changing. Steffano said he thought the Sea-Doo would pass behind his boat, but it struck the rear of the vessel and Rivera-Reyes was thrown into the water. Steffano reported that he stopped the boat, came to the aid of Rivera-Reyes and called 911 for help. No one on the Chaparral Bowrider was hurt.
The sheriff’s office is investigating the crash and said speed appears to have been a contributing factor.
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