|Published:||Sep 29, 2013 4:27 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 29, 2013 4:27 PM EDT|
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - Two tourists are dead after their personal watercraft collided with a tour boat near a Clearwater causeway.
Authorities said 50-year-old Ramana Godabiraju and 49-year-old Shubhada Kulkami were riding a rented water scooter when it crashed into a double-decker tour boat on a dolphin-sighting cruise Saturday. The victims were from Lower Gwynedd, Pa.
The Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/1fAlgXw ) reports that no one on the tour boat was injured.
"Our thoughts and our prayers are with the family affected by this tragic accident," said Trisha Rodriguez, owner of the Tropics Boat Tours boat. "This has never happened to us before. It's a tragedy."
Investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are trying to determine what happened to cause the collision. Authorities said the incident should serve as a reminder of the hazards of personal watercraft.
"Slow down. It increases your reaction time and gives you space that could save your life," said Baryl Martin, a spokesman for the wildlife commission. "People think these things are toys, but they're not."
The incident is the second fatal accident this month involving a water scooter in the area. Fifteen-year-old Katie Yale of Seminole died after a Labor Day collision between her inner tube and a personal watercraft.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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