DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — UPDATE — 12:30 pm — Destin Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Mike Landis said 3 people were transported from a boat crash Sunday night to the Coast Guard station on Okaloosa Island.
BC Landis said the call came in around 8:50 Sunday night for a crash into the Marler Bridge. Landis said the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) had an eyewitness on the scene.
“He said a 26 foot center console boast came out of the Harbor and was heading West/Northwest and as soon as they hit the no-wake sign they opened it wide open. He watched them and they just never turned and went straight West right onto Eglin’s property right there. He heard them wide open and then all of a sudden BOOM, the motors just rubbing up on the sand and the guy shut it down.”Batallion Chief Mike Landis, Destin Fire-Rescue.
The boat landed 40 to 50 feet into the sand dunes on military property. Landis said the boat owner and passengers are lucky they hit soft sand.
“It’s very dangerous,” said BC Landis. “He hit the shore going full speed and our biggest fear is what happened a few years ago whenever that boat hit the jetties at that speed and did a lot of damage. So in a sense, they got lucky by running up on that beach and not turning to go more South and hit the jetties or hit the bridge.”
BC Landis said the operator would not speak to crews at the scene. Destin Fire-Rescue crews took the 3 people to the coast guard station nearby. FWC and USCG are investigating the crash further.
“I think paying attention may have been a problem,” said BC Landis. “You know it’s dangerous with currents and tides and we just caution more people to be careful and wear life jackets. Because if that would’ve hit something else going at that rate of speed without a life jacket, they wouldn’t have the chance. It’s just lucky that it was soft sand, not something solid.”
WKRG has reached out to FWC for additional information about this case. The boat was still on the beach Monday morning.
ORIGINAL STORY — Destin Fire Rescue crews worked a boat crash Sunday night at the military beach on Okaloosa Island.
Witnesses spotted the 26-foot boat with people on board speeding toward shore Sunday night, according to a Facebook post by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
The boat crashed onto the private land around 9:30 pm. The boat coming to rest on the sand dunes just south of the Marler Bridge going into Destin.
Thankfully no one was injured.
The land just west of the Destin Jetties is a military beach, operated by Eglin Air Force Base. Boats are not allowed to dock or anchor to use the property.
Correction: Previous versions of the story reported 4 people on the boat. Destin Fire Rescue confirmed it to be three people on the center console vessel that crashed Sunday night.