According to WWSB-TV, a woman died on September 1 in a boating accident when she was thrown from a vessel into the Intracoastal Waterway in Venice.
WWSB reports that the accident occurred just before 7 p.m., behind Venice High School. Police told the station that John Antolak, of Venice, was driving a boat when it suddenly veered into the rocks along the banks of the waterway.
The accident killed 41-year-old Alicia Starkweather, who was thrown overboard. Starkweather was initially transported to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, where she later died because of her injuries.
Antolak reportedly told investigators that he was avoiding a manatee in the water when he swerved his vessel, but police said he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. The accident remains under investigation.
The US Coast Guard reported that in 2011 there were 4,588 boating accidents nationally, involving 758 deaths, 3081 injuries. Many of these accidents were a result of boating under the influence of alcohol (BUI). Florida leads the country in boating and watercraft accidents every year. In 2011, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said there were 742 reported boating and watercraft accidents, leading to 67 fatalities and 431 injuries.
If a negligent boat or watercraft operator has injured you, you are entitled to our help. Visit our website and fill out a contact request or call our office at (866) 223-4529.
The Gerber Law Group, P.A.– Sarasota injury attorney
Gerber’s Guidance: Drowning (63 percent) is the leading cause of death among people in boating accidents.