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INFO ???? Boat Crash !!!!

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Old 01-28-2004, 09:13 AM
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Family and friends will be in our prayers. Very sad story.
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Old 01-28-2004, 10:25 AM
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Unhappy More from the SP Times 'Distorters'(Reporters)thier names at the bottom.

Charges ruled out in boat accident
By SHANNON COLAVECCHIO-VAN SICKLER, Times Staff Writer
Published January 28, 2004

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TAMPA - No criminal charges will be filed in the boat accident Sunday that apparently killed a successful Tampa Bay restaurateur and injured two South Tampa women, investigators said Tuesday.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has not completed its investigation of the accident involving Bonefish Grill co-founder Chris Parker. But spokesman Gary Morse said the agency does not plan to file any charges of recklessness.

Parker's boat was traveling at an estimated 100 mph as he and two female passengers skimmed the water alongside fellow boater Clifford J. Davis of Pinellas Park.

"It might have been excessive speed (that caused the wreck)," Morse said. "Then again, he could have hit something in the water, and it wouldn't have mattered if he was going 50 or 100 mph. I don't like to speculate. This is a sensitive time for the family."

Local law enforcement agencies continued to search for Parker on Tuesday.

This morning a team will depart from the Gandy Bridge boat ramp with dogs specially trained to find bodies in the water.

"This is a bit unusual, but we're going to try it," Morse said.

Today marks the third search day. If Parker isn't found by the end of the day, Fish and Wildlife officials will decide whether to keep looking, Morse said.

"It's just such a huge search area. The boat drifted a mile after it flipped, and we can't exactly pinpoint it," Morse said. "It gets to a point where we have to look at our resources."

Parker has been missing since about 2 p.m. Sunday, when his Spectre speedboat flipped about a mile south of the Gandy Bridge.

While that area of the bay has no speed limit, boaters are expected to maintain a "safe and reasonable speed," Morse said.

Morse said the boats were not racing and, even if they had been, there is no law against it.

Parker and one of his female passengers fell from the boat; another clung to the inside of the boat, Davis said.

Davis and his passenger, 25-year-old Gisa Bok of South Tampa, helped rescue the two women who had been aboard Parker's boat, but they couldn't find Parker.

Jodi Forca, 27-year-old owner of the errand-running business Premier Concierge, was treated and released from Tampa General Hospital. She continued to recuperate Tuesday at her South Tampa home, where the cars of loved ones filled the driveway.

Chris Sears, 29, remained in Tampa General with internal injuries, according to her mother, Elizabeth, who flew in from Kentucky on Monday to be with her daughter. Hospital officials said Sears is in good condition.

"She's one of these people who thinks she'll be back to work in two weeks," Elizabeth Sears said. "I'm hoping and praying she will be."

Sears described her daughter as a go-getter who gladly left Kentucky for the sun and sea of Florida. She said Chris, an avid exerciser, graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in occupational therapy.

She said her daughter occasionally mentioned boating trips, and Parker was a friend.

"I'm afraid of water myself," Sears' mother said. "But she never seemed to worry."

Friends described Parker as an experienced boater, but boating experts continued Tuesday to question why Parker was driving such a powerful vessel by himself, with two women along for the ride.

Stuart James, who lives on a houseboat off the Gandy Bridge, said he was taking his sailboat up the channel Sunday afternoon when he saw two boats engaged in what looked like a race.

But Morse disputed the notion that the two boats were racing.

"They were traveling together, side by side, at a high rate of speed," he said. " And they knew one another, so they'd done this many times before."

- Staff writers Leonora LaPeter, Kevin Graham and Curtis Krueger contributed to this report. Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler can be reached at 727 226-3373 or [email protected]

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Old 01-28-2004, 10:28 AM
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Default So Sad for Chris's family;

How many times a year do we see stories like this?

If you are going to be pushing the envelope ( I think we can agree that near 100 mph is) then as the person responsible for the safety of you and your passengers we really need to make sure they are outfitted with life vests. This is not such a difficult question.

I am relieved only one person is lost. I cannot imagine what his family is going through; only that they are not feeling additional responsibility of other people being lost (which easily could have happened.)

As a group, OSO members need to learn from this sad lesson.

Concerned in the frozen North

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Old 01-28-2004, 10:55 AM
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but boating experts continued Tuesday to question why Parker was driving such a powerful vessel by himself, with two women along for the ride.


What experts, unless he was in a real race why would he have a or be a throttle man. What he should have had another guy in the boat to maybe get injured or killed? I hate when they try to read into something they know NOTHING about.
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Old 01-28-2004, 12:28 PM
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This is a very tragic loss and my thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved.

What an eye opener this is. We all need to keep the fact in the back of our minds that these boats are basically race boats and are capable of race speeds. We need to realize that we are driving race boats at race speeds in an un-controlled environment without safety boats, helicopters etc. It's time to invest in proper life vest and wear them. I am personaly headed to the LA boat show tonight and will be sure to visit the Lifeline Safety Equipment booth to order my vests.
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Old 01-28-2004, 01:42 PM
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I'm very sad for the family and my prayers go out to them. My fear is that one of these days the wrong legislators are going to have a field day off a tragic incident like this and we as a group are going to suffer.

I'm struggling with my better judgment about the time and place to bring this up but the fact is we are only one high profile boating incident away from being strictly governed on the water. I’m sure everyone on OSO and 90% of all other boaters are responsible enough to boat in a safe manner, however it is that 10% of boaters who are going to ruin it for all of us. Folks this is something to think about. You notice that that local press can't get off that 100-MPH., well that speed might fall on the ears of someone in power to do something about it. How would you like to be limited to 55-MPH like the freeways? All it takes is legislation from a non-boater in power who could care less about what effects their laws will have on you. I just recently read here that no wake laws are on the way in the coves of LOTO for boats over 26’. Well that doesn’t make a lot of since to me that your 38’ Top Gun or 36’ Skater will have to give way for a small bowrider to pass. Make no mistake about it. When it is time to punish boaters it will not be the first time boater in a bowrider. It will be the SPEEDboat that is singled out. To put it more plainly it’s not your fault but you will pay!

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Old 01-28-2004, 02:10 PM
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Here's a email I sent to the reporter:


Charges ruled out in boat accident
By SHANNON COLAVECCHIO-VAN SICKLER, Times Staff Writer
Published January 28, 2004

“Friends described Parker as an experienced boater, but boating experts continued Tuesday to question why Parker was driving such a powerful vessel by himself, with two women along for the ride.”


Staff writers Leonora LaPeter, Kevin Graham and Curtis Krueger contributed to this report. Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler can be reached at 727 226-3373 or [email protected]





I would like to know what boating experts you are referring to. Who are your sources? Why don’t you list those boating experts by name in your article?

Just because a vessel has a lot of power doesn’t mean that it requires more than one person to drive and navigate. What is your agenda?

Please report the facts only and leave any speculation out of it.

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Old 01-28-2004, 02:21 PM
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Good Job Art.......... Disheartening that the Media always finds the 'experts' somewhere else if they don't get their spin the first time around. Mr. Morse of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sees to be a little more lucid and forthright in his responses, that was good to see in light of a tragic event such as this.
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Old 01-28-2004, 04:53 PM
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There will be a recovery effort made up of a group of friends and supporters. This Sunday, if he has not yet been recovered, we will meet at the Gandy Boat Ramp Tampa side at 10am. We will be monitoring VHF channel 68. At this time, we have a few flats boats and are looking for spotters to help canvas the area.
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Old 01-28-2004, 05:46 PM
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They brought in specially trained dogs today, still no luck. I agree with you Mike, I think by now the location has changed dramatically. I hope he is found.
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