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Marine unit searches for hit-and-run boater

4th of July is busy on the water
Posted at 5:06 PM, Jul 04, 2016
From the water ways of Tarpon Springs to the sandbar near Anclote Key. The Pasco Sheriff’s Marine Unit is on the look out for one boat among hundreds.
 
“It looks like a substantial large size, almost like a speedboat with twin motors on it,” said Cpl. Clark Reese.
 
A boater is suspected in a 4th of July hit and run.
 
Investigators said he smashed into a dock on Bayshore Drive in Tarpon Springs, leaving behind $10,000 worth of damage.
 
Florida Fish and Wildlife units looked for the suspect from the water and air.
 
And the Pasco Sheriff’s office helped in the search.
 
“It can be difficult because you’ve got a lot of territory to cover. As you can see you’ve got plenty of areas that you can get in behind. Sometimes it’s like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Reese.
 
While there is no sign of the hit and run suspect, at the sandbar there are lots of people enjoying the holiday and so far behaving.
 
Sammy O’Neil is heading their with his family.
 
“We are going to go out and have some fun with the kids. And have the family out.  A little bit of boating today,” he said.
 
The sandbar can be a trouble spot, especially when alcohol is involved.
 
“People like to come out and have a good time. They do like to partake in some alcohol. Fights usually ensue,” said Reese.
 
“Drink at home. Come out here and have fun,” said O’Neil.
 
Pasco’s Marine unit has 20 miles of coast to deal with, from Aripeka to the Anclote River. And they’ll even go into Pinellas County when needed.
 
“We do have a lot of boating violations. People creating a large wake for other vessels that are tied up. Cutting in and out, not looking people that are out swimming enjoying their day,” said Reese.
 
Things are calm so far this 4th of July, but there is a lot of area to cover and a lot of time left.