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UPDATE: Boat captain charged after hitting restaurant

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UPDATE: Boat captain charged after hitting restaurant

Old 02-25-2015, 01:04 PM
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Default UPDATE: Boat captain charged after hitting restaurant

Ruskin, Florida -- The charter boat captain who ran aground and into a restaurant Monday has been cited for reckless operation of his 39-foot boat in dense fog.

UPDATE: Crews begin removing boat from restaurant

Investigators believe Matthew Santiago, 31, had been driving too fast in foggy conditions and beached the boat with 7 people on board.

The boat remains stuck Tuesday night in the back of the Sunset Grill at Little Harbor in Ruskin. Crews are stabilizing the roof, so a crane can come in to remove the boat on Wednesday.

"It's a life lesson. Slow it down, proceed with caution big time. It's a wake-up call for all of us," says Ruskin charter fishing captain Oliver O'Riordan with Fishing Charters Tampa.


10NEWS
Crews to remove boat that crashed into restaurant
O'Riordan says the crash never should have happened. He knows in the fog to rely on his GPS and ease up on the gas. "In the fog, I back way, way down. We are at an idle at some points out there today," O'Riordan says.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators say Santiago with the Tampa Bay Fishing Guide Association didn't do that. FWC adds Santiago had both GPS and radar on the boat, yet headed right for the restaurant.

"It appears the operator was traveling the channel directly toward the restaurant, and unfortunately failed to make the turn leads to the channel further south," says FWC spokesman Baryl Martin.


The charter boat captain who ran aground and into a restaurant Monday has been cited for reckless operation of his 39-foot boat in dense fog.

Customer Laura Bailey tells 10 News that she had been sitting outside at the Sunset Grill with her family having dinner, when the boat appeared out of the dense fog and ran right into the restaurant - just feet away.

"The boat just emerged from the fog going 50 miles per hour," says Bailey. "They just had enough time to brace themselves. They didn't turn off the engine. They didn't try to slow down at all and I just ran right into the shore," Bailey says.

10 News tried calling Santiago and was hung up on, twice.

Records show Santiago has been fined for speeding through a manatee zone, not having proper safety equipment on board, and operating with an expired license.


10NEWS
Boat crashes into Bahia Beach restaurant
The Coast Guard will determine whether his captain's license will be revoked.

Bailey can't believe that with 7 people on board and a restaurant busy during the dinner time rush, only 2 people had minor injuries.

"No one was killed. If there would've been more people on the beach, there just wasn't time to move they were going so fast," says Bailey.

http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/local...-fog/23953445/
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:23 PM
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Capt dumb ass should have is ticket yanked..
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:30 PM
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^

I have to agree Capt Dumb ass should have his lic yanked for a yr at minimum.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:32 PM
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A licensed Captain?
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:34 PM
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Unless it was some sort of medical emergency or such only an idiot runs that fast in the fog.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:46 PM
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Good, he needed to be charged. No excuss for what happened.
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Old 02-25-2015, 02:11 PM
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Yeah, glad he was cited. He is damn lucky nobody was seriously hurt or killed. There were people in the building at the time. It's a miracle nobody was hit by the boat.

Also, everyone on board must have been in the back of the boat. Anyone in the front of the boat would certainly have been killed or seriously hurt. Looks like decapitation was a real possibility had they been sitting in the front of the boat.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:27 PM
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Anybody have the approximate length of beach he covered before crashing into the building? Can't tell from the pic but it looks like 50-75ft. He is lucky nobody died.

Reminds me of that other classic THT pic of the guys in that Contender? trying to tear their own pathway through a sandbar.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:38 PM
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Measured on Google Earth at 60' from the tide line (when the image was taken) to the face of the building. However there is what appears to be a sandy shallow area extending out approximately 260 feet so the engines should have hit bottom well before the tide line (albeit only a few seconds at that speed).
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:18 PM
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Good thing it was not the side of a container ship.

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Old 02-25-2015, 04:26 PM
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Not defending this guy, but there were a couple of things most of these articles don't mention. Number one, it wasn't his boat. That could work for or against him. For in the sense he wasn't as familiar with it or its systems, against for the same reasons.

Second thing is, witnesses said the weather was clear one minute and foggy the next. That being said, seems he would have seen the fog bank and throttled back. In short, he's going to have a hard time defending this.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Freeebird View Post
Not defending this guy, but there were a couple of things most of these articles don't mention. Number one, it wasn't his boat. That could work for or against him. For in the sense he wasn't as familiar with it or its systems, against for the same reasons.

Second thing is, witnesses said the weather was clear one minute and foggy the next. That being said, seems he would have seen the fog bank and throttled back. In short, he's going to have a hard time defending this.
No excuse for this. Fog was everywhere this day (as it is around here every year at some point with colder water and warmer humid air) and even if clear you can see fog banks ahead as it was predominant. If unfamiliar with the boat he should have slowed down even sooner. Tricky channel on a clear day. Shows that right on the GPS let alone paper charts. Last time I came in here I went slow and picked my markers 1 by 1 to make sure I was going the right way. Yes people make mistakes but not this time. Should not have happened. If the story was boat runs aground in fog and refloats at high tide I would be thinking bad luck. Just saying.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by madhatter1 View Post
No excuse for this. Fog was everywhere this day (as it is around here every year at some point with colder water and warmer humid air) and even if clear you can see fog banks ahead as it was predominant. If unfamiliar with the boat he should have slowed down even sooner. Tricky channel on a clear day. Shows that right on the GPS let alone paper charts. Last time I came in here I went slow and picked my markers 1 by 1 to make sure I was going the right way. Yes people make mistakes but not this time. Should not have happened. If the story was boat runs aground in fog and refloats at high tide I would be thinking bad luck. Just saying.
Like I said, I wasn't defending him. I'm sure his attorney(s) told him not to talk to reporters, so his hanging up is SOP. I would just like to hear him try to come up with a plausible explanation for the coasties who are bound to be looking at pulling his ticket.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:08 PM
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Stupid is as stupid does.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:22 PM
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Hey, got to give him credit. He got the boat docked. The RC cruise ship did circles for over a day waiting for the fog to lift. I guess they didn't have Mr. Santiago as coxswain.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Freeebird View Post
Like I said, I wasn't defending him. I'm sure his attorney(s) told him not to talk to reporters, so his hanging up is SOP. I would just like to hear him try to come up with a plausible explanation for the coasties who are bound to be looking at pulling his ticket.




Maybe he can hire Charlie Christ to defend him.


err, Yes your Honor the restaurant failed to properly maintain the sand to the required viscosity and it was exceptionally fluid.


err, Yes ladies & Gents the restaurant failed to have the proper navigational aids in operation......


err, Yes your honor the restaurant failed to meet applicable building codes by not having the roof line at a safe height so as to be compliant with navigation give it's proximity to a waterway........
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Schmaltz~Herring View Post
Maybe he can hire Charlie Christ to defend him.


err, Yes your Honor the restaurant failed to properly maintain the sand to the required viscosity and it was exceptionally fluid.


err, Yes ladies & Gents the restaurant failed to have the proper navigational aids in operation......


err, Yes your honor the restaurant failed to meet applicable building codes by not having the roof line at a safe height so as to be compliant with navigation give it's proximity to a waterway........
Odor in the court!!!
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:44 PM
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errr, yes your honor, absolutely no negligence on the part of the Coast Guard licensed experienced kapitan the restaurant failed to properly mark it's drive in window.....
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Schmaltz~Herring View Post
errr, yes your honor, absolutely no negligence on the part of the Coast Guard licensed experienced kapitan the restaurant failed to properly mark it's drive in window.....
I did hear that on their Facebook or website they put a notice out that they do not have a drive thru window!
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Schmaltz~Herring View Post
errr, yes your honor, absolutely no negligence on the part of the Coast Guard licensed experienced kapitan the restaurant failed to properly mark it's drive in window.....
Well, yutes will be yutes...
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