Child Dies In Sailing Practice Collision On Sarasota Bay: FWC
SARASOTA, FL — A child died when two boats collided during a Saturday morning youth club sailing practice in Sarasota Bay, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said in a news release.
The FWC was notified about the accident, which took place just north of the John Ringling Causeway Bridge, around 11:20 a.m., said Sr. Off. Adam Brown, FWC public information officer during a Saturday afternoon news conference. Sarasota Police Department and Sarasota County Fire Department also responded to the accident.
The child, who the FWC said was younger than 13, was injured in the accident and brought to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where they later died, according to the news release. The FWC has not released the child’s exact age yet.
The Ringling Causeway shut down temporarily in all directions so a medical helicopter could airlift the child to the hospital, Sarasota police posted to its Facebook page at 11:38 a.m. However, because of poor weather conditions, the child was brought to Sarasota Memorial by ambulance instead, Brown said.
WWSB reported that the accident took place during Sarasota Youth Sailing, a nonprofit that teaches children how to sail. Brown said he couldn’t confirm that the organization was involved in the incident.
SYS acknowledged the incident on its Facebook page around 3 p.m., though.
“An Incident occurred today during one of our regular club sailing practices. At this time, SYS is halting all scheduled operations and team functions while we focus our attention and efforts to support the individuals involved,” the nonprofit wrote.
Brown said that the accident serves as a reminder to follow boating safety guidelines.
“As a boater, make sure that you’re keeping your eye out 360 degrees at all times for other boaters, (that you’re) keeping everyone on your boat safe and following the safety regulations in the area,” he said.
The incident remains under investigation by FWC.