Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Public safety

Three men rescued after jumping from burning boat near Sunshine Skyway Bridge

ST. PETERSBURG — Three men were rescued from the water after their boat caught fire near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on Friday night.

Capt. Sean Riley, 50, said he and his crew of two took a job to deliver a 36-foot Gulfstar Trawler boat from Tampa to Port Charlotte. They planned to be there by this afternoon, but just west of the Skyway the boat's engine lost power.

Riley lifted the engine compartment and said flames shot back at him. He tried to put them out with the extinguisher, but it was no use. At 6:52 p.m., a crew member called 911. Soon after, everyone on the boat jumped overboard clutching their life jackets.

"We just huddled up and waited," Riley said.

The three men linked arms as 5-foot waves splashed across their faces. At first Riley worried about the boat and the fire, but after a while his thoughts turned to hypothermia and sharks.

"By the grace of God, we're here," he said.

St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue found the ship 28 minutes after they received the call. Rescuers transferred the men onto a U.S. Coast Guard ship, which brought them into O'Neill's Marina.

St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue Capt. Rob Nugent said firefighters extinguished the flames, but the boat sank in 25 feet of water.

None of the men on the ship was seriously injured, Nugent said.

Riley has worked on boats since he was 18, he said. He's suffered through tragedy before and only a few years ago he lost a close friend in the Caribbean Sea.

"This is what I do," he said. "I've done it all my life and I'll keep on doing it."

Comments
Pasco corporal who took down student on video now cleared (w/video)

Pasco corporal who took down student on video now cleared (w/video)

LAND O’LAKES — Kayla Peña filled up her water bottle then returned to her lunch table at Sunlake High School when she heard a commotion in the cafeteria on Tuesday afternoon.A female student was riled up, walking back and forth, Peña said, screaming ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
For senior week, Lakewood High School must mourn a senior

For senior week, Lakewood High School must mourn a senior

ST. PETERSBURG — Lakewood High School principal Erin Savage has never planned a candlelight vigil. But this week, Savage must learn how to do so as her school mourns the tragic death of one of its graduating seniors.Bryson Welton-Williams, 18, died T...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Man on Clearwater Beach pulled from water, hospitalized

CLEARWATER — A 33-year-old man pulled from the water north of Pier 60 was hospitalized Wednesday afternoon.Clearwater Fire & Rescue spokesman Rob Shaw said a bystander noticed the Dunedin man, who has not been identified, was in trouble and brought h...
Updated: 5 hours ago
State Road 54 closed after state trooper injured in crash

State Road 54 closed after state trooper injured in crash

WESLEY CHAPEL — A motorist suffered a medical emergency and crashed into six cars at a Wesley Chapel traffic light Wednesday, injuring a trooper, the Florida Highway Patrol said.The trooper, whose injuries were not life threatening, was airlifted to ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Orlando armed carjacking suspect on the run in Hillsborough, authorities say

Orlando armed carjacking suspect on the run in Hillsborough, authorities say

PLANT CITY — Multiple law enforcement agencies are searching for an armed man responsible for a string of Wednesday morning carjackings, including one that involved gunfire, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Authorities described ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Trinity teen killed in crash remembered as ‘positive’ and ‘smiling’

Trinity teen killed in crash remembered as ‘positive’ and ‘smiling’

TRINITY — Friends said they will remember Lillia Morris, who was killed Tuesday in a car crash, as always smiling.Morris, 17, was killed after a 2008 Chevrolet SUV ran a red light and slammed into her car at State Road 54 and Duck Slough Boulevard.Ka...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Man, teen face murder charges in Clearwater shooting

Man, teen face murder charges in Clearwater shooting

CLEARWATER — A man and teen face first-degree murder charges in connection with an apparent drug-related fatal shooting last week.Police say Daniel Curtis Battle, 28, and Malique Devon Gary, 17, shot Ricardo Guzman four times on Friday at Melrose on ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
UCF student from Hillsborough, one other accused of rape; fraternity suspended

UCF student from Hillsborough, one other accused of rape; fraternity suspended

ORLANDO — A University of Central Florida student from Hillsborough County and a fellow fraternity member face charges after they were accused of raping a woman at a party.That fraternity has since been placed on interim suspension.Orange County Sher...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Two hospitalized after crash on Bayside Bridge

Two hospitalized after crash on Bayside Bridge

CLEARWATER — Two Brandon men were hospitalized Tuesday night after they lost control of their car and crashed into trees on the south end of the Bayside Bridge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.At 8:15 p.m., 19-year-old Coi Jenkins was driving...
Updated: 11 hours ago
He spent 17 years in prison. Now he’s a free man.

He spent 17 years in prison. Now he’s a free man.

TAMPA — Dwight DuBose walked out of the Orient Road Jail on Tuesday night after trading an orange jumpsuit for a brand new polo shirt and slacks. It was about 9 p.m. He flashed a broad smile and hugged staff members of the Innocence Project of...
Published: 04/25/18