Saturday, June 15, 2024

Pinellas deputies rescue stranded boater under the Tom Stuart Causeway in Madeira Beach

Deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, assigned to the Marine Unit, rescued a stranded boater after his vessel takes on water and sinks.

The incident occurred at about 5:13 p.m. on Friday, July 17, 2020 under the Tom Stuart Causeway in
Madeira Beach.

Deputies were dispatched to the Tom Stuart Causeway for a boater trapped in the water during a heavy storm. An unoccupied, 30 foot sailboat had broken its anchor during a heavy thunderstorm and drifted into the Tom Stuart Causeway.

Local resident, 68-year-old, David Johnson paddled his dingy to the causeway to dislodge the boat from the Causeway. The heavy storm caused his vessel to take on water and sink. Johnson became trapped between pilings and the sailboat and was unable to rescue himself.

Sergeant Ron Blair and Deputy Jayson Young arrived at the Causeway and rescued Johnson from the water. They used their Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office vessel to tow the sailboat from the Causeway and brought Johnson to waiting paramedics on land.

Johnson, who was wearing a life vest, was treated for minor injuries and released by paramedics.

The City of Seminole Fire Rescue, Madeira Beach Fire Rescue and Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue assisted deputies on scene.


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