A family in Naples, Florida, is grieving the loss of their 13-year-old daughter, Harlie Smith, who was tragically killed in a boat accident, Naples Daily reports. The teen was with her family in the Florida Keys on a boat on Friday, just south of Lois Key, on the ocean side of Cudjoe, when tragedy struck around 5:20 p.m.
It was reported that the girl’s father, George Smith, who turned 49 on Monday, was operating the 31-foot Boston Whaler when he put the boat in reverse and accidentally ran over his own daughter. Authorities say the father had no idea that Harlie was behind the boat. She supposedly jumped in the water after spotting a lobster.
When George reversed, he believed that his wife June, 11-year-old son, and nephew, as well as Harlie, were on the boat.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say that when the father accidentally drove over his daughter, Harlie’s right leg got caught in the boat’s propeller and she suffered a severe laceration.
Bobby Dube, who is with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, stated that paramedics met with the family at Venture Out Marina in Cudjoe Key after they called for a sea tow.
Harlie’s mother stated that the family did not call for the boat to be towed. What they did was “beg for medical help” in any way that they could after the Florida Keys boat accident. During that time, authorities told June and her husband that there were two coast guards in the water, but they were unable to assist them as they were too busy.
“I never knew we were helpless on the water,” Harlie’s mom said.
When June learned that she and her family would have to meet paramedics at the Venture Out Marina, she stated that they “moved as fast” as they could to get their daughter help.
Harlie was transported to Lower Keys Medical Center, but she was unable to be saved. The Naples teen died from her injuries sustained in the boat accident.
After the Florida Keys fatal boat accident, the FWC released the following statement:
“All of the members of the FWC want to express our sincere sympathies to the victim and families of the victim involved in this incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them.
“The FWC would like to take this opportunity to remind all boaters enjoying Florida’s beautiful waterways to do so safely. Please wear your life jacket and maintain 360-degree awareness at all times while boating.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials are said to be investigating the Florida Keys boat accident that killed 13-year-old Harlie Smith.
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