Late last month a 25-year-old man lost his arm in a horrific boating accident, underscoring the oftentimes dangerous nature of boating in South Florida.
In late November Palm Beach resident Carter Viss was snorkeling off the coast of Palm Beach when he was struck on the arm by a 2008 36-foot Yellowfin boat. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says that a 30 -year-old man was operating the vessel when he noticed dive flags and divers in the area and reduced his speed. Despite the speed reduction, the vessel’s propeller struck Viss in the arm, severing it.
In a statement about her son’s accident, Viss’ mother Leilla wrote:
"On Thanksgiving Day Carter was out doing what he loved most; diving in the ocean near Palm Beach with a good friend...As a Marine Biologist, who works for a Turtle Rescue Center, Carter has always valued ocean life and ocean safety. While he was out diving, he took every safety precaution possible and put his flag up to indicate where he was diving. Unfortunately, he was run over by a boat."
A witness to the collision, Samantha Marulli of Palm Beach, told WPTV.com that “A boat came along and went right over them. When they pulled him out of the water, he didn’t have an arm.”
The report says that in 2017 there were 172 collisions in which at least one person was struck by a propeller, resulting in 31 deaths.