A 24 year old woman was killed Sunday when she fell overboard from a 24 foot pontoon boat and was struck by the boat’s propeller. Michal Elboum was sitting on the bow of the boat when she fell into Perdido Bay near Pensacola, Florida about 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Ten people were on the boat at the time of the accident. The accident is still being investigated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Exactly what caused Eboum to fall is still unknown but alcohol is not believed to be a factor.
FWC Officer Stan Kirkland said: “We strongly discourage people from riding on the bow because if you fall off you are on the path to be run over. It’s possibly the most dangerous place you can be on a vessel.” In Florida FWC Officers can issue a citation to the operator of a boat for allowing people to ride on a boat’s bow. Kirkland said it was too early in the investigation to know if anyone will be cited for anything.
Eboum was helped back into the boat after she fell and was taken to a private boat dock on the bay, where Firefighters and paramedics tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate her. She was declared dead at the scene. Fire Chief Jim Pokrandt said: “She had massive lacerations to the left side of her body.”
Although this tragedy occurred in Florida, it should serve as a warning to all Mississippi boat operators not to let anyone sit on the bow of a moving boat.