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Tampa Bay Water Ski team to raise money for family injured in boat explosion




In an instant, everything can be redefined. For one family, that instant came on May 9, on an otherwise beautiful day on the water.


George Meyer and 13 members of his family had been anchored off Pine Key Island, also called Beer Can Island. George's wife and their daughter Carrie Atherton, 33, sat on the boat's back bench with a 7-year-old boy nestled in between, playing cards. Carrie's husband, Mike, also 33, stood on board nearby.

From the water, Meyer, 57, noticed slack in the anchor line and climbed up to the starboard side of the boat to tighten the rope. It's the last thing he remembers before the boat exploded.

Ski_team *****

George Meyer lost his left leg and broke his elbow in the explosion. His wife, Nancy, suffered a head injury, broke both heel bones and an elbow, and required abdominal surgery.

Meyer's daughter Carrie Atherton, a runner, had two broken ribs, several broken vertebrae, two broken legs and a broken heel bone. Carrie's husband, Mike Atherton lost his legs.

Meyer's daughter-in-law suffered broken ribs and a bruise on her back. His grandson had broken wrists and heel bones.


The Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team plans an afternoon of ski shows March 27 to raise money for the Atherton family. The shows will be at 2, 4 and 6 p.m. at Tower Lake in Oldsmar, behind the Oldsmar Flea Market. Admission is free, but there will be a silent auction, raffles and concessions. The family hopes to use proceeds to modify Mike Atherton's car, make his home more wheelchair accessible, and help deal with other medical expenses.

For more details on the shows or how to donate directly, call (727) 480-9365 or (813) 855-4678 or visit

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 4:03pm]


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