Boat circles after two thrown overboard - FOX 13 News

Boat circles after two thrown overboard

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The view from SkyFOX. The view from SkyFOX.

When Troy Petro and his friend were thrown from his boat after hitting a wake in Tampa Bay Monday afternoon, he says getting hit by the boat's propeller as it circled was the last thing on his mind.

He was worried about something else in the water.

"It was petrifying, like I said, because I knew that we were two or three miles offshore and I knew we were swimming in with the sharks. It was scary," said Petro.

Petro says he and his unidentified friend were out fishing when they hit that rough patch about a quarter-mile away from the end of the St. Pete Pier.

"My buddy was driving and we hit a rouge wave and, boom, it just flipped us. Both of us flew out of the boat like rockets, it was like instantaneous," said Petro.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officers say they got the call at about 3 Monday afternoon.

"We determined they hit a wake, the weight of one person hit another person and they both were ejected from the boat," said Ken Thompson of Florida Fish and Wildlife.

The boat circled in the water for about an hour and a half, finally coming to a stop when it ran out of gas.

Petro wasn't seriously hurt but his friend broke his leg.

FWC officers say this accident didn't have to happen.

"The main thing to be learned from this boating accident is to wear your lanyard and have the proper safety equipment on board," said Thompson.

They say that lanyard should be worn around a boater's wrist and if they're thrown, it serves as a kill switch and will turn the boat's motor off.

Another boater picked up the man who broke his leg while Petro swam to shore.

But officers say Petro and his buddy are lucky -- the only thing they're left with from today's accident is one heck of a story.

"We were thrown off the boat, bam! I mean, I must have flew 15 feet in the air," said Petro.

Officers say the accident was likely caused by operator inexperience.

The man driving the boat only had about 10 hours of experience behind the wheel.

He was driving because Petro had been drinking.

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