Witness: Two people tossed from runaway boat - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Witness: Two people tossed from runaway boat

MARTIN COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - The search for a missing boater in Martin County will resume at first light Tuesday.

A 38-year-old woman and the missing man were thrown from the boat in the St. Lucie River near the Evans Crary Bridge, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Initial reports indicate the steering may have broken in the boat, said Woody Woodruff of TowBoat U.S.

Witnesses saw the boat going full throttle in tight circles with no one on board.

Woodruff recovered the 38-year-old woman, who was injured, and took her to nearby Sandsprit Park. He says the woman was slipping in and out of consciousness. She said she tried holding onto her friend, but couldn't. The woman was then airlifted to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center.

The woman told Woodruff a 39-year-old man who was with her was missing following the incident that happened shortly before 4 p.m.

Sea Tow was able to stop the boat just north of the Evans Crary Bridge that connects Sewalls Point to Stuart. The boat was going in circles, the Coast Guard said. It may have also crashed into the pillars of the bridge, based on the damage to the boat.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were assisting in the incident.

The boat appeared to be a 18-foot Boston Whaler, Outrage model, with an Evinrude 150 motor and had the name "Carolyn" on the side.

Investigators don't know what caused the boat to go out of control.

FWC officers hauled the boat away late Monday night for further investigation.

Crews from the Coast Guard, FWC and the Martin County Sheriff's Office will continue searching for the missing man at first light Tuesday.

"We're looking in the river basically where the vessel was found doing circles," says Lt. Vann Streety.  "Whether or not that was where the individuals were ejected from the boat, we don't know so we have a pretty large area that we're looking right now."

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