Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Death of man who fell off yacht near Vinoy ruled a drowning

ST. PETERSBURG — The death of a man who fell into the bay while stepping off a yacht in January has been ruled a drowning, according to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office.

A police investigation has been closed, said St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz.

James J. Young, 49, had been socializing with four other people aboard the yacht Pure Knight Life about 6 a.m. on Jan. 18 near the Renaissance Vinoy Resort. He tried to step from the boat onto the dock.

He slipped and fell into the water, hitting his head on the way in, police said. It wasn't clear if that knocked him unconscious.

Young had a blood-alcohol level of 0.239, nearly three times above the 0.08 level at which Florida law considers a person impaired. He also had cocaine in his system, the medical examiner said.

Multidrug toxicity, cardiovascular disease and blunt head trauma contributed to his death, the medical examiner said. He had superficial scrapes and a bruise on his scalp.

After the incident, Young's family hired an Orlando personal injury lawyer to investigate the case.

"The family had a lot of questions early on surrounding the circumstances of his death," said Eric H. Faddis of Faddis & Faddis.

He said they have not finished their investigation.

"It appears so far to be accidental," he said.

Three others on the boat, including Jannus Live owner Jeff Knight, 49, who also owns the vessel, saw Young fall. They pulled him back aboard quickly, but he was unconscious, Puetz said. They called 911 and Young was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

In addition to Young and Knight, others on the boat were Francis Whitty, 32, Olivia Catanese, 21, and Young's roommate, Robert Ashbrook, Puetz said.

The night before, the party of five had been downtown. They later moved onto the boat, which was docked in the Vinoy Yacht Basin next to the hotel at 501 Fifth Ave. NE.

Puetz said those aboard the yacht told police they "had been partying" and were drinking.

Death of man who fell off yacht near Vinoy ruled a drowning 04/18/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:07am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Shakeup on Adam Putnam campaign


    In a sign of unsteadiness for what  had  looked like a strong-out-of-the-gate Adam Putnam campaign, the Republican frontrunner suddenly fired his campaign manager and political director. Hard-charging Campaign manager Kristin Davis and political director Jared Small were two of the three outsiders to join …

    Putnam campaigning in Destin the other day as part of his 22-city bus tour
  2. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  3. Tampa man arrested for killing man in his USF-area home


    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested Monday in the death of man found killed at a home in the University of South Florida area last week, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Kadeem Dareem Archibald, 26, was arrested Monday on a  second degree murder charge in the University Area killing of Khando Kerr. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Report: Trump asked intel chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence


    President Donald Trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, the Washington Post reports, citing current and former officials.

    From  left, CIA Director Mike Pompeo; Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers take their seats on Capitol Hill on May 11 before  testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. [Associated Press]
  5. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”