10:27 PM TRAGIC NEWS - Boat AccidentRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Sep 09 2023 10:39 PM
APALACHICOLOA FL: Earlier this evening a group were traveling by boat in Apalachicola Florida.
There were several boats traveling in to where they staying for evening of cooking steaks and watching football.
One of the boats missed the boat behind them and turned around to check on them. They were found to have struck a tree.
The boat had a steering system that was not a stick but a rounded type of stick steering. The boat behind them said the boat suddenly turned. The river was narrow and the boat struck some trees.
In some of the boats traveling with them were some off duty Houston County Sheriff Deputies. The deputies immediately boarded the boat with the two injured men and started emergency medical treatment to include CPR.
In this area of the river cell phone service was awful. One boat took off toward where they put in attempting to get cell phone service to call 911. The deputies were frantically working with all training and equipment on the injured and performing CPR.
The quick immediate decision was to start as fast as possible towards the boat landing to meet EMS.
On arrival to the boat landing, despite all efforts by the Houston County Deputies and friends, one of the two men passed away.
The second man was transported trauma alert. He is expected to be transferred to Bay County tonight and then possibly Pensacola Florida tomorrow.
The one who lost his life was Gary Tibbett ( sp? ) the retired management executive of Pea River Electric Co-Op in Ozark.
The injured was the owner of Road Mart, Eddie Hardwick.
Florida Game and Fish was called to the scene and conducting an investigation. This appears to be a malfinction of the steering.
The accident was not caused by any negligence and most definetly not because of any alcohol.
The boats were crusing and not traveling fast when the boat made a sudden and dramatic turn to the bank.
PRAYERS ARE WITH ALL FAMILIES AND FRIENDS. And special thanks to the Houston County Sheriff Deputies and those trained in emergency services for giving their all in attempting to save both men.