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Boy's leg amputated after water scooter accident near Redington Shores

Doctors were forced to amputate the leg of the 14-year-old boy injured in a water scooter accident Monday night, his father told officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

John Dahl is recovering at Tampa General Hospital, where he remained in serious condition Tuesday morning, hospital spokeswoman Ellen Fiss said.

The Redington Shores teen was riding on a water scooter piloted by another teen about 6 p.m. Monday. Their scooter was towing a wakeboard, which held a third boy.

The wakeboard rider fell off, but the water scooter's operator, also 14, continued to travel at high speeds, said FWC spokesman Gary Morse said. Dahl became "upset about the speed of the boat and the way it was being operated" and jumped off, Morse said.

But the towline was still attached to the wakeboard, and Dahl's leg became tangled in the line, Morse said.

"It's horrible stuff," he said. "You should never jump off any vessel going at a high speed unless you have no other options to avoid injury."

The other two teens were not injured, Morse said.

Both Dahl and the driver had just passed a boating safety course and were wearing lifejackets, Morse said.

Officials are not releasing the name of the water scooter's operator because a criminal investigation is pending. Such investigations are "nothing earth-shattering," he said, but standard procedure for boating accidents involving severe injuries.

The boy's father, Tom Dahl, initially agreed to an interview Tuesday but later said he had been advised by his attorney not to discuss the incident.'

Reporter Aubrey Whelan contributed to this report.

Boy's leg amputated after water scooter accident near Redington Shores 08/02/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 7:20pm]
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