Teen's Leg Nearly Severed in Wave Runner Accident
August 2, 2011
11:45 PM, Aug 1, 2011
Written by: Beau Zimmer
Redington Shores, Florida – A 14-year-old passenger on a wave runner was critically injured Monday when his leg apparently got caught in the tow line for a wake boarder being pulled behind.
John Dahl was flown to Bayfront Medical Center shortly after the accident happened around 6:00 p.m. Witnesses say the teen’s thigh was nearly severed when the wave runner took off full throttle.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officers are investigating the accident and say it appears Dahl was riding backwards on the craft when he jumped off, apparently because he thought the wave runner was going too fast. Witnesses in a nearby waterfront condo heard the screams and quickly called 911 for help.
“Immediately he started screaming, so I knew something was wrong,” said Robert Sapp, who lives near where the accident happened. His 16-year-old son, Casey, immediately jumped onto his own wave runner to help the injured teen.
“When I actually got up next to that boy’s jet ski and saw his leg, it was bad. Yeah,” said Casey Sapp.
It’s unclear if Dahl, who investigators say is originally from Germany, will lose his leg. FWC says his injuries appeared extremely serious, but not life-threatening. They credit the Sapp family, however, with helping to save the teen’s life.