Stephanie and David Sieradzki. David Sieradzki, 31, died June 27. He was parasailing about 1.5 miles off the coast of Longboat Key when the boat’s motor malfunctioned and he made an emergency landing in the Gulf of Mexico. Islander Photo: Courtesy
The medical examiner determined last week that the death of a South Carolina parasailer June 27 was accidental, caused by drowning.
District 12 Medical Examiner Dr. Russell Vega released Aug. 26 his findings in the investigation into the death of David Richard Sieradzki, 31, an IT expert from Fountain Inn, S.C., who died June 27.
“The death occurred following a mechanical failure of the boat engine and Mr. Sieradzki’s descent into the water,” read a statement from the ME. “The cause of death was determined to be drowning. The manner of death was determined to be an accident.”
Sieradzki, his wife Stephanie and several others had taken the parasailing cruise on the Almost Heaven, a 28-foot vessel operated by Fun N Sun Parasailing out of the Bradenton Beach Marina. Stephanie Sieradzki went up first on the parasail, followed by David Sieradzki.
According to Fun N Sun, the U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife, the out-drive on the boat failed, causing the propeller to stop turning and the boat to abruptly slow.
“It was able to make a bare-steerage way,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Peter Martin, deputy commander of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg.
The line slackened and Sieradzki, who was wearing a life vest, came down, landing in the water about 400 feet from the boat. The boat was about 1.5 miles off the coast of Longboat Key.
Witnesses told investigators that Sieradzki waved as he touched down. But at some point, Sieradzki became unresponsive. The crew pulled him to the boat, which took about two to three minutes. By then, Sieradzki was unconscious, with a faint pulse.
The Almost Heaven crew began CPR and sent out a distress call via VHF radio at 5:30 p.m.
A 25-foot response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Cortez launched and arrived to aid Almost Heaven. The Coast Guard crew transferred Sieradzki and his wife to its boat, where CPR was performed on the man on the way to the Coquina Bayside boat ramp in Bradenton Beach.
Upon arriving at the boat ramp, Coast Guard crewmembers continued to perform CPR on Sieradzki until the arrival of the EMS crew, which also performed CPR before pronouncing Sieradzki dead.
The medical examiner’s initial review of the death was inconclusive.
Sieradzki was known to be a good swimmer and was wearing a life vest. So the ME looked into additional risk factors that might result in drowning.
“Physical injury, inclement weather and drug intoxication were excluded, as was incapacitation by a marine animal,” read Vega’s statement.
Additionally, the Coast Guard found the parasailing equipment in good order, and there was no evidence that Sieradzki became tangled in ropes, the harness or the parachute.
The ME’s statement continued, “Unconsciousness from a medical condition or concussion is a reasonable explanation for how the drowning could occur in the absence of the above described risk factors.”
There was no evidence of a concussion, but the ME did observe a medical condition — Sieradzki had a mildly enlarged heart.
“Enlarged hearts are known to be at risk for heart arrhythmias,” the ME stated. “A heart arrhythmia may cause unconsciousness and could be precipitated by stress.”
A group of juveniles entered an Anna Maria home Aug. 21 to raid the refrigerator of beer, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.
The incident occurred in the 200 block of Fir Avenue.
A resident said she arrived home to find that a group of youngsters had entered through an unlocked front door, searched the residence and began to drink the beer they found in the kitchen refrigerator.
Evidence includes six opened cans of beer, according to the MCSO report.
A juvenile whose name was withheld by authorities was arrested for both burglary of a residence and possession of a controlled substance. The MCSO report said a white powdery substance was found in the juvenile’s wallet.
A 42-year-old man being held in the Sarasota County jail is a suspect in a series of car burglaries, including several in Holmes Beach and on Longboat Key.
Richard Iannuzzi was taken into custody by St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputies in early August on an outstanding contempt-of-court warrant from Sarasota County.
When he was arrested, Iannuzzi was in possession of a credit card reported stolen from an auto parked in Holmes Beach, according to court records.
Iannuzzi allegedly admitted to a string of burglaries, and law enforcement officials say items found in the Bradenton home of Iannuzzi’s girlfriend match the descriptions of stolen items.
Currently the man is charged with two counts of burglary to an unoccupied conveyance in Sarasota County. But additional charges are expected.
In 2003, Iannuzzi pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor petit theft charge in Manatee County. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Saturday, Sept. 3
8 a.m. — Kiwanis Club at Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: xxxxxxxxxx.
Wednesday, Sept. 7
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce business lunch at The Feast Restaurant, 5406 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-1541. Fee applies.
• Tuesdays, noon, Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island meetings at the BeachHouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-794-8044.
• Wednesdays, two hours before sunset, the city of Bradenton Beach hosts a sunset party with entertainer Mike Sales at Katie Pierola Sunset Park, 2200 block of Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-448-5798.
• Wednesdays, 6 to 8 p.m., teens meet at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1908.
• Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m., players pitch horseshoes in the pits at Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-708-6130.
• Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., view landscape painter David Dunlop’s video series “Landscapes Through Time,” at the Studio at Gulf and Pine, 10101 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, through Sept. 15. Information: 941-778-1906.
• Fridays, Senior Adventures Group meets for outings to various locations. Information: 941-962-8835.
• Fridays, sunset, drum circle with Mike Sales and Scott Blum at Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-526-6789.
• Saturdays, 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island meets at the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.
Friday, Sept. 2
5 p.m. — Contender Film Series: “Deep Water” at the South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-4131. Fee applies.
Saturday, Sept. 3
8 a.m. to 10 a.m. — Sneak peek and trash cleanup of Neal Preserve, 12301 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-748-4501.
10 a.m. — Endless Summer “Crabby Saturday” party featuring crab races, dinner and karaoke at the Bradenton Elks Lodge no. 1511, 2511 75th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-896-3535.
Sunday, Sept. 4
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. — Endless Summer “Island Getaway Barbecue” party featuring music, prize drawings and dinner at the Bradenton Elks Lodge no. 1511, 2511 75th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-896-3535. Proceeds benefit the Harry Anna Foundation camp and children’s therapy services.
Monday, Sept. 5
Noon to 4:30 p.m. — Labor day party featuring a classic car show, lunch and music at the Bradenton Elks Lodge no. 1511, 2511 75th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-896-3535.
• Sept. 9, Contender Film Series: “Kings of Pastry,” South Florida Museum.
• Sept. 11, Manatee County 9-11 Remembrance Ride, Cortez Road to Coquina Beach.
• Sept. 13, Flu shots, Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce.
• Sept. 13, Coffee and Conversations, Anna Maria Island Community Center.
Save the Date:
• Sept. 17, Ladies Day Out luncheon, Manatee Players.
• Sept. 17, Beach City Candidate Forum, Island Branch Library.
Save the date for the following Anna Maria Elementary School happenings:
• Sept. 14, picture day.
• Sept. 15, 8:45 a.m., Parent-Teacher Organization Fall Festival planning kick-off meeting, cafeteria.
• Sept. 21, PTO budget meeting.
• Sept. 21, 10th annual Peace Day event.
AME is at 4700 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. For more information, call 941-708-5525.
Send calendar announcements to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the time, date and location of the event, a brief description and a contact via e-mail and phone.
Casey Nulter and Caleb Helmer with a 21-pound black fin tuna caught in 160 feet of water offshore of Anna Maria Island.
The right stuff: rig up right, get the bite
Inshore fishers willing to get out before the sun rises are being rewarded with good top-water action on spotted sea trout and redfish. Experienced fishers know the shallower grass flats around mangrove islands are the ticket for the big trout. Make sure the tide has some good flow to it, too.
The redfish are in these same areas, and wading is the best approach to target them there. As the sun climbs higher, you’ll want to switch to a small gold spoon or 1/8-ounce jig head with a rubber tail to keep the bite going.
Mangrove snapper are starting to school up around local bridges and piers. A No. 4 hook with a light fluorocarbon leader and a suitable split shot baited with a small shiner or shrimp will produce a good snapper bite, if they are there. If you need help locating the fish or just getting them to bite, try chumming with either a frozen chum block or fresh-cut shiners. Sometimes a little added scent in the water is enough to fire up some snapper. Most of them are running small but, if you’re persistent, you can catch your limit.
Remember to have the right equipment for reef species aboard if you’re fishing from a boat. Circle hooks, a venting tool and a dehooker are enough for you to be legal if you have snapper in the cooler on ice.
Dave Sork at the Anna Maria City Pier says Spanish mackerel action is heating up in the early morning. Silver spoons or live shiners are the gear of choice for these high-speed, toothy fish. Remember if you’re using live bait to use a long shank hook to prevent getting cut off.
Mangrove snapper are showing in good numbers at the pier. Fishers using a combination of a small hook, light leader and live shiner are getting the best results.
Lizardfish and ladyfish are being caught just outside the bait schools on small white jigs. Bottom fishers are catching small bonnethead sharks using fresh-cut bait. On a final note, Sork says he’s seeing an occasional late-season tarpon roll in the bait schools around the pier.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier says the mangrove snapper bite is starting to pick up. “Most of them are shorts, but we’re catching some bigger ones, too,” Kilb says. When asked how many bigger ones are being caught, Kilb responded, “Enough to take to the fillet table.”
Try using live shiners or live shrimp to hook up with the tasty little snappers. Remember, there are a lot of bait-stealers under the pier, so if you’re using shrimp, double the number that you would normally purchase. Medium-sized tackle is a good bet when targeting mangrove snapper. Light tackle will do the trick, too, but if you hook a nice redfish or black drum instead of snapper, you’ll never stand a chance at landing it.
Keeper-size redfish and over-slot reds are being caught under the pier by fishers targeting snapper. Both live shrimp and live shiners are working as bait.
Black drum in the 24-inch range have been seen flopping on the dock. Other bottom-dwellers, such as flounder and lizardfish, are being caught under the pier.
Last but not least, the Spanish mackerel are still making a showing in morning, although the bite is sporadic, at best.
Jonny Keyes at Island Discount Tackle says pier fishers are coming in and stocking up with silver spoons for the anticipated showing of Spanish mackerel. On a recent morning, the macks showed up blasting the hatch bait around the piers. Pier fishers using a size-zero Clark spoon trailing a popping cork are getting the bite. “They must be hitting that rig pretty good,” says Keyes. “I had to show at least 10 people how to rig it this morning.”
The technique for fishing this rig is simple. Just cast out to where the mackerel are and retrieve and jig at the same time. Before you know it, you should have a nice mackerel on the line.
Along the beaches, Keyes is hearing about ladyfish, skipjacks and whiting being caught on live shrimp. Small silver spoons and white jigs are working, too. There are still bonnethead sharks cruising the shallow waters. To target these sporty little sharks, try soaking a piece of cut squid or shrimp just past the sandbar on the bottom.
Redfish and spotted sea trout are being caught on the grass flats of Anna Maria Sound and at the mouth of the Manatee River. “Gold spoons are working good for the redfish,” says Keyes. For the trout, fishers are using top water plugs in the early morning with good results.
Inshore structure, including bridges and artificial reefs, are starting to produce good numbers of mangrove snapper. Live shrimp, shiners and small pinfish are working to get these little snapper to bite.
In conclusion, Keyes says he’s seeing large amounts of ladyfish loading up in the passes at night. “If you’re looking for non-stop action,” says Keyes, “go to the passes at night and throw a jig and see what happens.”
Capt. Mark Johnston of Just Reel fishing charters is fishing Cortez and Sarasota bays for good numbers of spotted sea trout. “It seems like you have to catch 25 little ones before you get a keeper,” says Johnston. He’s finding keeper flounder around the passes using live shiners fished on a bottom rig. “Most of the fish we’re catching right now are on smaller-size shiners,” says Johnston, “but we’ve caught some fish on big baits, too.”
Johnston is locating keeper-size redfish along mangrove shorelines adjacent to docks with deep water. He uses live shiners for these redfish, but he squeezes them before he puts them on the hook. Squeezing a bait stuns it, which will make it flutter as it sinks to the bottom. He says it helps get the redfish in the mood to eat your bait.
Lastly, Johnston is catching mangrove snapper around rock structures and docks in the bay.
Capt. Warren Girle is fishing nearshore structure, both natural and manmade, catching more red grouper than he can count. Live shiners and frozen sardines are producing red grouper on almost every drop. Once Girle is able to get a bait past the red grouper, he’s hooking mangrove snapper up to 17 inches. Along the edges of the structure, Girle is dragging baits in the sand, catching flounder in the 18-inch range.
Moving inshore, Girle is wading the flats of North Sarasota Bay in search of gator trout and redfish. There’s nothing better than seeing a big trout come up and blow up your top-water plug, he says.
Girle is working early mornings to trigger a bite from spotted sea trout, redfish and an occasional snook.
“We’re knocking the snot out of the reds with top-water plugs,” says Girle. His recent bait of choice is the Sebile stick shad. After the sun gets higher in the sky, Girle is switching over to a Mister Twister Exude Dart on a 1/8-ounce jig head to trigger a strike.
Send fishing reports to email@example.com.
Bella Duran, 92, died Aug. 21 in Jacksonville. She was a native to the Tampa area, most recently residing in Holmes Beach.
Mrs. Duran enjoyed traveling and exploring the world to discover new places.
A memorial service was held Aug. 27 at Garden of Memories Funeral Home and Cemetery, Tampa. Memorial donations may be made to St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Fernandina Beach. Arrangements were by Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home in Jacksonville Beach.
Mrs. Duran is survived by daughter Jeanette D. Heider; brother Hermes Diaz; grandchildren Jeanne Marie Crawford and Jennifer Heider Cloud; great-grandchildren Tiffany C. Tindall, Brittany O’Berry and Heider Cloud; great-great-grandchild Bentley O’Berry; and many loving nieces and nephews.
William Goffred, 85, of Bradenton, formerly of Elizabeth, N.J., died Aug. 20.
Mr. Goffred retired from the U.S. Army as a first sergeant and also served in the U.S. Navy. He was a World War II and Vietnam War veteran. While serving in the military, he was stationed in Virginia Beach, Va., Rochester, N.Y., Africa, Taiwan, and Landstuhl, Germany. He was a jazz enthusiast and active member of the Sarasota Jazz Club.
Mr. Goffred is survived by daughters Tina and husband Damean Searle of Holmes Beach, and Angie and husband Vern Martin of Indianapolis, Ind.
Kathleen Kay (Patterson) Vande Vrede
Kathleen Kay (Patterson) Vande Vrede, 66, of Holmes Beach, and formerly of Sterling Heights, Mich., and West Bend, Wis., died Aug. 22.
Mrs. Vande Vrede had a zest for life, seen in her world travels and many hobbies and collections of cookbooks, photographs and dolls, and a vast number of friends, who supported her battle with two forms of leukemia. Her legacy endures in her artistry of beautiful watercolors, silks and other crafts.
Special remembrances go to Dr. Paul Landry and staff of the Florida Cancer Specialists; Mrs. Vande Vrede’s devoted and talented “painter sisters” at the Artists Guild of Anna Maria; to Ken and Barbara Rickett and A Paradise Realty staff and partners who developed the company with the Vande Vredes, Lynn and Mary Hostetler and Elizabeth Andricks; and to the Rev. Ed Moss of Crosspointe Fellowship in Holmes Beach.
A memorial service was held Aug. 29 at Crosspointe Fellowship, Anna Maria. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel in Bradenton was in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Shriner’s and cancer organizations of one’s choice. Online condolences may be made at www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Mrs. Vande Vrede is survived by her husband of 45 years, David D.; daughter Tia Bartholow; granddaughter Kaylee of Cape Coral; son Bret Vande Vrede of Bradenton; mother Mildred (Heersema) Patterson of Sleepy Eye, Minn.; brother Thomas and wife Laura Patterson of New Ulm, Minn.; sister Janet and husband Dale Jacobson of Chaska, Minn.; and many wonderful nieces and nephews, in-laws Larry and wife Karen Vande Vrede of New Baltimore, Mich.; Judy and husband Jim Warmington of Hudsonville, Mich.; and Nancy Tiller-Vande Vrede and husband Jim of Sodus, Mich.
Joshua Lynn Wimberly
Joshua Lynn Wimberly, 23, of Bradenton, died August 18.
Mr. Wimberly was raised on Anna Maria Island, participated in youth sports programs at the Anna Maria Island Community Center and attended Anna Maria Elementary School.
There was to be no service. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 26th Street Chapel of Bradenton was in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Mr. Wimberly is survived by his mother, Kathy Manning, of Longboat Key, and brother Taylor Manning of Ringgold, Ga.
• Aug. 19, 600 block of Gladiolus Street, burglary. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office filed a report that someone forcibly entered a home and took items valued at a total of $2,500.
• Aug. 20, 400 block of Pine Avenue, disturbance. The MCSO responded to an apartment where two people were arguing.
• Aug. 20, North Shore Drive and Jacaranda, boating accident. The MCSO responded with emergency medical services and marine rescue to a call about a boating accident. The boat had become stuck on a sandbar, but was gone before public safety personnel arrived.
• Aug. 21, 200 block of Fir Avenue, burglary, possession. The MCSO responded to a complaint from a residence, where a group of juveniles had entered through an unlocked door and begun to consume at least six cans of beer. One juvenile was arrested for both burglary and possession of a controlled substance.
Anna Maria is policed by the MCSO.
• Aug. 19, 900 block of Gulf Drive North, obscene/harassing phone calls. The Bradenton Beach Police Department took a report that a Palmetto man made a threatening call to an ex-employer.
Bradenton Beach is policed by the BBPD.
• Aug. 20, 12400 block of Harbour Landings Drive, abandoned boat. The MCSO responded to a report of a derelict sailboat that was beached on its side. The boat was filled with water.
Cortez is policed by the MCSO.
• Aug. 20, 3900 block of East Bay Drive, indecent exposure. The Holmes Beach Police Department arrested a 62-year-old man for alleged indecent exposure and driving with a revoked license. A witness said the man urinated on the floor in the Publix Super Market.
Holmes Beach is policed by the HBPD.
Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the BBPD, HBPD and MCSO.
Luke Bowes dribbles the ball upfield as brother Mike Bowes challenges and Preston Petrill and Cassie Calvert give chase during pre-season soccer camp at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. Islander Photo: Kevin Cassidy.
Luke Bowes dribbles the ball upfield as brother Mike Bowes challenges and Preston Petrill and Cassie Calvert give chase during pre-season soccer camp at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. Islander Photo: Kevin Cassidy
Camp signals start of fall youth soccer season
Anna Maria Island Community Center provided an opportunity for players ages 4-11 in its fall recreational soccer league to brush up on their skills with a pre-season camp Aug. 24-26. Players received instruction in basic game skills during the three-day camp.
Though the camp turnout was less than overwhelming, the children who did participate received quality instruction from coach Paul Hayward of the center’s West Edge after-school program.
Hayward, a resident of Holmes Beach since 2007, has brought a wealth of soccer experience to the Island. He played both collegiate and professional soccer, and coached at Bethany College in West Virginia from 1978-81. While there he forged a tie to former Islander Ken Bowers, who played for North Carolina Wesleyan at the time and challenged the Bethany coach.
Hayward, a Toronto native, recruited another former Islander, Tommy Normant, to play soccer at Bethany College in 1986. In all, Hayward estimates he has helped about 50 kids to play soccer on the collegiate level.
The West Edge Academy provides soccer training for students enrolled in the after-school program from grades K-5. Middle school player training also is offered.
In addition to the soccer program, West Edge Academy also offers professional instruction in tennis, karate and the performing arts.
For more information about the soccer league or West Edge, call Lindsey Weaver at 941-778-1908 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
An unprecedented four-way tie for first place highlighted Aug. 27 horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City hall horseshoe pits. The ensuing playoff saw Jerry Disbrow and John Johnson slip past Steve Doyle and George McKay by a 21-18 score. The other playoff game saw Sam Samuels and Tim Sofran roll past Jay Disbrow and Tom Skoloda 22-9. The final was a back-and-forth affair that saw Samuels-Sofran dominate with a 21-18 score.
The Aug. 24 games saw the team of Sam Samuels and Ron Pepka take the outright championship as they were the only team to achieve the required three wins during pool play.
Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection.
There is no charge to play, and everyone is welcome.
More soccer registration
The Manatee Area Youth Soccer Organization is holding one last registration day for its fall recreational soccer season from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 3, at the MAYSO clubhouse across from the G.T. Bray Park tennis courts.
Cost is $100 for U6 and U8 players, while U10, U12 and U14 players pay $125 for a season of play.
For more information, visit www.mayso.org.