State environment officials are assessing the damage caused in this week’s crash in which a Coconut Grove man accidentally drove his boat up onto a mangrove island in Key Largo — traveling 250 feet into trees before landing.
Daniel McBride, 39, was operating his 36-foot Concept vessel — powered by three 300 horsepower engines — around 10:30 p.m. Monday when he missed South Sound Creek in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park waters, crossed Airport Flat and went up on the mangrove island just south of South Sound Creek.
Bobby Dube, Keys spokesman for the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said McBride "was knocked unconscious during the incident and came to when his dog began licking the lacerations to the back of his head and forehead."
McBride didn't report the crash until the following morning, when he notified Sea Tow Key Largo for help. FWC Mike Officer McKay responded with a state Department of Environmental Protection biologist. McBride, whose wounds had stopped bleeding, refused medical assistance.
A salvage plan is in the works to remove the boat while trying to minimize any additional resource damage. DEP will conduct a full biological damage assessment.
Dube said alcohol is not suspected as a factor in the crash. Rather, McBride had his GPS setting too wide for the area and had the incorrect background lighting selected.