7 people rescued from airboat crash in Brevard County

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Seven people were rescued after an airboat crashed on Lake Washington Thursday morning.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Brevard County Sheriff's Office responded to the distress call around 10:50 a.m., but both agencies were beat to the rescue by a local air boat captain.                      

Capt. Mike Tipton, with Bullgator Adventures Airboat Rides & Tours, said passengers on the privately owned airboat called him for help and he was there in 15 minutes.

"I grabbed a boat, headed to the lake, got his coordinates, found where he was, went and located him and got him out of the water and into one of my vessels and back into a safe landing," Tipton said.

The cause of the crash was not immediately available but Tipton suspected the boat was too heavy.

"I think it was a matter of the center of gravity was off-set by the number and weight of the people that was on the hull," Tipton said.

The FWC reported no serious injuries.

"I didn't see a scratch or cut or anything on anybody," Tipton said. "They were all in good spirits. Everybody was calm."

Tipton said he didn't consider himself a hero.

"No, I just did what I would hope someone would do for me if I was in the same situation," Tipton said.

About the Author: