Cape Coral neighbors warn about boat safety after deadly crash

Published: May 27, 2021 6:02 PM EDT
Updated: May 28, 2021 3:25 PM EDT

Surveillance video shows a pontoon boat traveling at a high speed through a lake in shallow water moments before a deadly crash.

Wednesday, a man died while operating a boat that hit a dock on Alhambra Lake in Cape Coral.

The homeowner who lives on the property where the boat crashed says there is a tight corner near his house.

“There’s not enough room in a pontoon boat to make such a tight turn at a high speed, so he ended up actually crashing into the piling of my dock,” said Spencer Ault.

Within seconds, a neighbor rushed out to help, saw the urgency of the situation and called a nurse friend.

“Since I’m a registered nurse, they called me first to let me know that this happened and that I needed help,” said Marcy Smith. “And unfortunately, they weren’t here to help them, and I told them what I thought they should do until 911 arrived, but unfortunately it was too late.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the man did not survive.

“I don’t know the family, but obviously, the family has got to be heartbroken,” Ault said.

“This is just a really tragic thing to have happened,” Smith said.

People who live near the crash say it’s not the first crash they’ve witnessed.

“There was a prior accident here where someone crashed into the same piling,” Ault said. “And then, I also understand that at a dock down the road, someone on a Jet Ski crashed into its dock.”

Alhambra Lake is not large, and combined with the shallow water, can make turning very difficult.

The Cape Coral Police Department told us there have been 13 calls of reckless boating on the lake in the last decade.

We’re waiting to hear from FWC if any of those were also deadly.

“I just hope that people take note and realize that you need to be safe on these waters,” Smith said. “And right now, the water level is so low that you have to be extra careful. With the water level being so low, they don’t do something that would cause an accident at all.”

Cause of death remains undetermined

UPDATE: In a statement shared with WINK News Friday, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the victim’s cause death has not been determined by the medical examiner’s office.

According to FWC, “It is unlikely we will know this information for possibly weeks. Boating accident investigations can often be quite lengthy, and we appreciate your patience and understanding throughout the process.”