16-year-old Dominic Pagan of West Palm Beach was injured late Friday when a 32-Foot motor boat operated by Jay Vass ran over the scull which Pagan and his racing partner were rowing. Pagan is a skilled rower recently placing seventh in a state rowing competition.
Vass admitted he did not see the dark-hulled scull and had no idea he had hit anything until he saw the scull’s hull sticking out of the water against his boat. Vass immediately cut the engines and pulled Pagan onto his boat.
The impact of the collision trapped Pagan in the shell beneath the 32-foot boat and sent Pagan’s racing partner, Jonathan Blecher 16, about eight feet into the water.
According to reports of witness statements, Vass was speeding, driving erratically and operating too far east outside the channel and may have been on his cellphone.
Pagan was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center and was released late Saturday. He sustained a gash to his head that required multiple stitches and hairline fractures to his lower back.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission is currently investigating this accident.