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Boater Charged In Passenger's Drowning

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Old 06-28-2006, 11:09 AM
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Exclamation Boater Charged In Passenger's Drowning

This was in the Ft Myers News Press today...
3 adults and a dog in a 10ft jonboat.
Article doesnt say why he was charged. Overloaded? No lifejackets?
Let the speculation begin.

Boater charged in passenger's drowning
By Kyle Meenan
first Coast News
Originally posted on June 28, 2006


JACKSONVILLE -- Two months after Edward Clark's body was recovered from the St. Johns River, the man whose boat Clark was riding in has been charged with his death.

Fish and Wildlife Officials announced the arrest of 30-year old Scott Michael Driver on charges of Vessel Homicide.

They say Driver was at the controls of his ten foot Johnboat on Easter Sunday when it took on water and capsized.

Driver and Edward Clark's wife made it to shore. Edward Clark and the family dog drowned. Clark's widow, Lucilla, who goes by the name Mary, spoke exclusively to First Coast News about that fateful night, and about Driver's arrest.

"The motor died. Next thing I know the boat just... (Makes flipping motion) with all of us in it. I was the first one to go under. And my husband pulled me up by my hair and that's all I remember," said Clark.

It was the final memory of the man she'd been making memories with for more than twenty years. Edward Clark never made it to shore that Easter night. His body was found several days later upriver.

Mary says she lives the nightmare continually as she wipes the tears from her eyes.

"I woke up myself calling him in my sleep -- lots of times."

The St. Johns is a river she'd like to forget. She says she hasn't been back since her husband's death.

"I don't think I could stand to go back to that river. Every time I go by it on a bus, I just turn my head. Try to ignore it," she said.

Clark told First Coast News there is some consolation; Scott Driver has been charged with her husband's death.

"Makes me feel better. At least he won't be out there to do it again. I just hope he don't get out for what he done. He deserves to get what he gets."

Driver is being held on a $35,000 bond.

What would Mary tell him?

"There's not much I can say, you know? Just, 'well, you did it. Now you pay for it.'"
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Boater Charged In Passenger's Drowning

Something doesn't add up.....First of all, A 10' jonboat with 3 people and a dog isn't going to be going very quick, certainly not anywhere close to planing - I'm thinking 3 to 5 mph.

Unless you just absolutely can't swim(or you're too drunk to swim), how does one drown? - and if you can't swim, why would you climb into a 10' jon boat???????

I had a 12' jon boat back in the day with a little kicker on the back, and when it was time to take a break and go swimming, we would sink it on purpose, and everyone went for a dip.....no big deal, good clean fun.

I don't get it.

Either way, it sucks. It's heart-breaking when someone suffers a loss while trying to enjoy a nice time out on the water.

Last edited by CigDaze; 06-28-2006 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 06-28-2006, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Boater Charged In Passenger's Drowning

either cant swim, or got hit with the boat when it rolled, or drunk.
I was the same as cigdaze. had a 9' tender and my friends and i would roll it on purpose. worst that ever happened was i lost my hat. Interested to know what the driver was doing or not doing that made him responsible.
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Old 06-28-2006, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Boater Charged In Passenger's Drowning

I read this morning in the local RAG newspaper, some people shouldn't own boats!

On a more positive note concerning boating in FL.

Removing derelict boats

New laws give local officials needed power to find owners and make them pay


Derelict boat law may clean up river






Needed help on the derelict boat front is finally at hand, and not a moment too soon.

With tropical storms brewing and hurricanes not far behind, it's only a matter of time before the Space Coast gets hit again -- if not this season, then another season to come.

And among the problems will be more boats sunk in the Indian River Lagoon, creating a dangerous navigation hazard and polluting the already suffering estuary with oil and gas.

About 85 derelict vessels sunk by hurricanes the past two years still litter the lagoon in Brevard County, irresponsibly abandoned by their owners and leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for their removal.

Now, thanks to state Rep. Mitch Needelman, R-Melbourne, and other lawmakers, there are new and stronger laws to hopefully solve the trouble.

Passed by the Legislature this spring at Needelman's urging -- and signed into law Monday by Gov. Jeb Bush -- the bill:


Gives local governments such as Brevard the ability to declare boats derelict, find the owners and force them to pay for removing the vessels.


Allows marina owners to contract to bill boat owners for reasonable charges to make sure boats are tightly secured as tropical storms or hurricanes approach, if the owners don't do so themselves.


Allocates $1 million in state money to help counties pull sunken vessels from the water.

Of the three provisions, giving local authorities the muscle to go after boat owners is the most important -- and it's muscle they should use immediately.

Previously, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had the power to declare a vessel derelict.

That was a lengthy process in normal times, but one made significantly worse with 841 vessels sunk by the 2004-05 hurricanes still littering waterways statewide.

The job is further complicated because vessel registration numbers are frequently submerged, buried in the bottom or worn off by the elements.

In other cases, the owners have removed the numbers so the boat can't be traced.

Now local officials have a better chance to track down owners and make them pay.

The governor, however, dropped the ball on one element of the plan:

He approved just $1 million to help counties with removal efforts, rather than the $3.5 million approved by the Legislature.

That was foolish.

State lawmakers addressed Florida's mounting hurricane needs on a wide front, and the $3.5 million was a small but smart allocation to the list of "must do" items.

Still, the new laws are a big plus.

And they take on more importance because the rapid loss of public marinas to condo developments is forcing many boat owners to anchor their vessels unattended in the lagoon, rather than tightly secure them at docks.

That makes them sitting ducks for hurricanes.

Now, local officials have the authority to go after boat owners who also are derelict in their responsibility.

We hope to see quick results with sunken hulks getting pulled from the water.


And lot of these derelict boats are SAILBOATS!! And why isn't the $MC all over this, especially with all the pollutants that are coming out of these sunken boats?! Oh, that's right, it's not as glamorous as it is to lie about how powerboaters are hitting and killing MANATEES!
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Old 06-28-2006, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Boater Charged In Passenger's Drowning

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostinBoston
either cant swim, or got hit with the boat when it rolled, or drunk.
I was the same as cigdaze. had a 9' tender and my friends and i would roll it on purpose. worst that ever happened was i lost my hat. Interested to know what the driver was doing or not doing that made him responsible.
That's my thinking- there's got to be more to it.

Beyond the required safety gear, and operating in a sober and safe manner, how far does the boat owner's liability extend? If a 50 ft boat experiences mech probs, takes on water and sinks- is the owner liable if a passenger drowns?

Vessel homicide seems like a huge stretch here.
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Old 06-28-2006, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Boater Charged In Passenger's Drowning

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayboat
..."I just hope he don't get out for what he done."...
Sounds like Darwin has struck the trailer park again.
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Old 06-28-2006, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Boater Charged In Passenger's Drowning

Quote:
Originally Posted by C_Spray
Sounds like Darwin has struck the trailer park again.

LOL.....absolutely!!!!!!


"There's not much I can say, you know? Just, 'well, you did it. Now you pay for it."
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