A man and a woman were killed after being hit by a boat while on a Jet Ski near Lover’s Key State Park Friday.
Fort Myers Beach Fire Chief said the incident happened around 12 p.m. near Flippers on the Bay, east of the Big Carlos Pass Bridge.
The two were riding on a Jet Ski as part of a tour group. One witness said both the Jet Ski and boat were going fast when they crashed head-on.
The two on the Jest Ski were thrown into the water. People who saw it happen rushed over to help, including a doctor who performed CPR on the beach. WINK News spoke to that doctor.
The doctor and his wife arrived at the restaurant to have lunch, and that’s when they heard the crash. Then, he says, his instincts kicked in when he figured out what was happening. So, he swam out and tried to help. Now, he says he’s devastated that neither of these people survived their injuries, especially as so many people sprang into action.
Dr. Rob Kopp is an ENT surgeon. “I just heard this real loud boom… and then there was a gasp from the restaurant,” Dr. Kopp said.
He ran to see what had happened. Then he saw half a dozen Jet Skiis circling the capsized one.
Andress Herrera is General Manager at Flippers on The Bay, a waterfront restaurant near where the crash happened. He said, “We saw the first guy floating. People started screaming, telling them to pull him out of the water. One is still under the jet ski, so somebody jumped in and went under and pull her out.”
“Instincts kind of kicked in, took my wallet and my phone out, and just jumped in the water to see what we could do to help,” Kopp said. He yelled out to the nearby boaters to get the two people he saw floating out of the water.
“So, by the time I had swam out there, I was able to help get the woman out of the water,” said Kopp.
Then, the doctor says he saw another boat with several people on board pull the man out of the water. As he began responding to the woman, he was guiding the people on the other boat as to how to help that man. “As we were assessing her, simultaneously I was able to reach out to the other boat and say, ‘what are you seeing? What are you feeling? Feel for pulses. Are they breathing?'” Kopp said.
Kopp hopes this serves as a reminder for everyone to be careful on the water. “That’s why we’re all here in southwest Florida, right? We all love the water. And you have to have a ton of respect for it and be incredibly careful because these types of accidents and injuries can occur,” said Dr. Kopp.
One of the victims was taken to Lee Health Coconut Point, and the other was taken to NCH North Naples, where they both later died.
The doctor says 15 to 20 people rushed to help after the crash. He says he’s thankful that so many people tried but is devastated by the outcome.
Mid Island Watersports handled the Jet Ski tour. WINK News reached out to the company for comment, but we have not yet heard back.