A runaway boat near St. Pete Beach, Florida, almost wreaked serious havoc last Thursday after its operator fell overboard. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office received a call that the individual had been thrown from his vessel, and they launched a rescue and recovery mission from the land, sky and sea.
The PCSO found the operator treading water when they arrived at the scene, and they were able to tow him into their boat using a rope. They then shifted their focus to his outboard-powered boat, which was doing donuts at high speed, putting the nearby swimmers at perilous risk.
With help from the police helicopter, which noticed someone snorkeling near the boat, and officers on the beach, who shouted at swimmers to get out of the water, the PSCO boat set out to stop the vessel. They were able to match its speed and get parallel to the craft, at which point an officer hopped aboard and drove it back to shore.
While nobody was injured during the incident, it serves as an important reminder to always wear a life jacket and kill switch, which the operator was not. You can watch footage of the incident captured by the police helicopter in the video below.