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Swimmer hurt when operator loses control of Jet Ski off Caladesi Island

DUNEDIN — A swimming teenager was injured by a Jet Ski when a friend lost control of the personal watercraft Sunday afternoon off Caladesi Island.

James C. Alexander, 17, of Palm Harbor was operating a 1995 Kawasaki Jet Ski when he lost control and ran into a friend swimming in the water a short distance away, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

"He told deputies that he gave the watercraft some gas, tried to steer, misjudged his angle and lost control, striking his friend," according to a Sheriff's Office statement.

The friend, Joshua M. Gamble, also 17 of Palm Harbor, suffered injuries to his arm and head and was knocked unconscious.

Alexander jumped off his watercraft and, with the assistance of another friend, brought Gamble to shore and called 911.

Deputies described Gamble's injuries as non-life threatening, but he was still airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center.

Alexander told deputies he bought the craft last month and it had some steering problems.

Deputies were still investigating Sunday night.

Swimmer hurt when operator loses control of Jet Ski off Caladesi Island 09/12/10 [Last modified: Sunday, September 12, 2010 10:47pm]

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