Boat Crash

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau
- Marine Unit

Adam Kotz (Driver)
DOB: 11/02/1993
Vessel: 2015 Sea Doo Personal Watercraft (PWC)

Isreal Rodriguez (Driver)
DOB: 11/18/2000
Vessel: 1998 17’ Maverick Flats Style Outboard Boat

Graziana Gladden (Passenger)
DOB: 11/22/1999
Vessel: 1998 17’ Maverick Flats Style Outboard Boat

What:
Deputies assigned to the Marine Unit investigate a boat and personal watercraft crash in the Intercostal Waterway of south unincorporated Pinellas County.

When:
The incident occurred at about 12:26 p.m. on Thursday, November 28, 2019.

Where:
The incident occurred in the Intracoastal Waterway approximately ¾ of a mile north of the Treasure Island Causeway Bridge, in unincorporated Pinellas County. 

Why/How:
According to deputies, at about 12:26 p.m. on Thursday, November 28, 2019, a single, unidentified boat was traveling southbound in the Intercostal Waterway and passed 26-year-old Adam Kotz, who was operating his 2015 Sea Doo personal watercraft. Kotz accelerated his Sea Doo eastward across the Intercostal Waterway jumping the wake of the southbound boat. Afterwards, Kotz immediately turned around and accelerated again westbound across the Intercostal Waterway in what appeared to be another attempt at jumping the boat’s wake.

At the same time, two other boats were traveling northbound in the Intercostal Waterway towards Kotz’s location. The first boat was piloted by 19-year-old Isreal Rodriguez, and his 20-year-old passenger, Graziana Gladden.

Rodriguez and Gladden both observed Kotz cross in front of them eastbound, jumping the southbound boat’s wake, on his Sea Doo. Rodriguez advised he did not expect Kotz to abruptly make a U-turn and across the Intercostal Waterway westbound into his path. Rodriguez told deputies he quickly slowed his boat in an effort to avoid Kotz. Rodriguez said unfortunately he was unable to prevent crashing into the left side of the Sea Doo, throwing Kotz into the water.

Rodriguez stated he immediately stopped his boat along with the second boat of four people that was following behind him. Together they assisted getting Kotz out of the water and called 9-1-1.

 Kotz was brought aboard the second vessel and both boats proceeded to the closest boat ramp, Jungle Prada, located at 1700 Park Street North. in St. Petersburg.

Paramedics and deputies responded to the boat ramp. Kotz had serious, but non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.

Deputies interview the four occupants of the boat that was traveling behind Rodriguez and assisted with rescuing Kotz. Those boaters told deputies they also observed Kotz accelerating back and forth across the Intercostal Waterway and ultimately into the path of Rodriguez’ boat. They advised they also saw Rodriguez attempt to avoid crashing just before the impact.

The investigation continues.

Posted by Chuck Skipper Thursday, November 28, 2019 9:25:00 PM Categories: Marine Unit and Flight Unit

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