Weekend accidents a reminder of water safety - FOX 13 News

Weekend accidents a reminder of water safety

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Several incidents on the water over Memorial Day weekend remind locals to take caution as they continue celebrating Monday.

Fox 13 was live near the Gandy Bridge Monday morning where authorities had to rescue seven boaters on Saturday.

The problem started when a wave washed over their boat and caused it to take on water. The group tied the boat to the pilings under the Howard Frankland Bridge until Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officers arrived, and transported everyone back to the dock. Fortunately no one was hurt.

That was not the case in a separate accident in Lake Tarpon where Memorial Day weekend took a tragic turn.

Authorities searched for hours by helicopter and boat to find the body of missing boater, John Patti.

Investigators say, the 70-year-old was out on his boat with friends when his dog jumped into the water. Patti jumped in to save his pet, but did not resurface. His friends called for help, and deputies ended up finding his body later near Brooker Creek. The dog survived.

In Tampa, bad weather resulted in a firefighter rescue op for a family stranded near Picnic Island. They ran into trouble while kayaking, and had to be towed to safety.

Related: Coast Guard rescues fisherman sick at sea

And near Clearwater, a Good Samaritan stepped in to help a person hurt in a jet ski accident off the Courtney Campbell CCauseway

Here are a couple of tips to remember for those heading out on the water for Memorial Day:

  • Plan ahead
  • Pay attention
  • Watch your surroundings, including weather, waves, wildlife and objects like waterway markers.
Click here for more tips from water safety experts.

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