ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Part of a man’s leg had to be amputated after a boating hit-and-run accident near the Vilano Beach Bridge Saturday night.
Florida Fish and Wildlife personnel have been investigating and said they’ve tracked down the owner of the boat who left the scene.
The man who lost part of his leg is Logan Farquhar, from St. Augustine. News4Jax spoke with Farquhar's girlfriend, Billie Inman, who was standing outside of the hospital where he’s recovering. She was on the boat when the accident happened.
"I woke up and I was inside the boat with another boat on top of me and water rushing in," she said. "And trying to figure out how to get out of the boat."
Inman told us the doctors said because she put a tourniquet on his leg so quickly, it saved his life. But she says he saved her life.
“If that didn't happen he could've bled out and died. So I saved his life. But he saved mine too. Because when that boat was coming, he jumped over me to go scoop me up to throw me out of the boat. But the boat, I'm assuming, was too fast and I fell inside the boat and (into) a little like cubbyhole and he got out of the boat and that's why I was trapped in it. But if he would've moved me they said that there was a good chance I could be cut in half right now,” Inman said.
Billie Inman recalls, “He said, 'Babe, I lost my leg.'”
In an instant, a fun evening of fishing almost turned deadly. Inman further described the moments after the ski boat landed on top of their boat, near the Vilano Beach Bridge.
As Inman thinks more about what happened the night before, she doesn’t understand why the boaters who hit them just left.
“Well no, because the boat landed on top of our boat. And the boat that me and Logan got on, he gave us -- it was the guy that ran us over, he gave me the rope to tie off his leg and he couldn't start his boat to bring us up to the boat ramp. And another boat ended up coming and bringing us to the boat ramp. And I don't know how he like left because I thought his engine couldn't start. But I guess once we got off the boat and we were gone he was able to beat it to somewhere else.”
"I have never heard of that happening, and I’ve owned my own boat since I was 22," said Freedom Boat Club owner Lisa Almeida. "I’ve never heard of that happening."
Almeida says people need to take responsibility for their boats and use caution.
"They should have a designated driver and they should have a designated look out," Almeida said. "Someone on the boat with you that is your look out to see what’s happening."
Almeida says everyone should get the proper training before operating a boat.
"I absolutely think there should be requirements," she said. "There is a lot to know about driving a boat. The wind, current, how to dock without crashing, how to anchor and anchor correctly."
Almeida says you need to have enough life vests on your boat for everyone, and they need to be in a place you can get to them quickly. You should also have flares and a safety horn. She says it’s also a good idea to make sure you tell someone on land where you are going and your plan.
Inman said she has no idea how much all of this is going to cost, but she’s set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical costs and rehabilitation.