NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodSanibel

Actions

MUST-SEE UPDATE: The hole a boater fell into when he hit Sanibel Causeway

On Friday, newly released body-worn camera video from the Lee County Sheriff's Office shows the hole a boater fell into after his boat crashed into the southwest side of the Sanibel Bridge March 21.
Boat perched up on rocks about 5 feet from shore hanging above a ditch.
Boater falls in hole when boat collides with Sanibel Causeway on March 21
Posted at 10:45 PM, Mar 21, 2024

UPDATE FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 1:20PM

New body-worn camera video from the Lee County Sheriff's Office shows the hole a boater fell into when his boat crashed into the Sanibel Causeway Thursday afternoon.

"Is he conscious?" a deputy asked.
No."

Those comments punctuated a harrowing moment that a deputy found Israel Rogner of Punta Gorda. The 44-year-old was found in a watery hole, wedged between rocks and metal.

"Is his head above water?" the deputy asked.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. We got him supported by a life jacket." replied a worker the scene.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is still investigating the crash. Rogner was hospitalized, but his condition was unknown as of Friday afternoon.

=============================
PREVIOUS REPORTING

Around 3:30PM on Thursday, a boat crashed into the construction site near the Sanibel Causeway in Iona, resulting in serious injuries to the person aboard.

A construction worker at the site, who chose to remain anonymous, provided video footage of the dramatic rescue to FOX 4.

The worker recounted witnessing the entire incident as the boat collided with the rocky embankment and the individual steering the vessel was ejected, landing in a ditch between the rocks and the construction area with severe injuries.

Boat perched up on rocks about 5 feet from shore hanging above a ditch.

The event has led to conversations regarding the safety of boating in the vicinity of the causeway.

Mary Celello, a local boater, voiced her concerns, noting the disappearance of mile markers and channel indicators after Hurricane Ian.

"There used to be a lot of really nice mile markers out there and things like, where the channel is. A lot of that stuff is gone now, so if you don't know exactly where you're going and you don't take your time, it's dangerous," Celello said.

While the cause of the crash remains under investigation, authorities confirmed that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has taken the lead in the inquiry.

The boat was reported to have only one person on board, who was transported to a hospital for treatment.