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Date of Issue: September 10, 2008

Gustav's waves topple surfers, capsize boat

An overturned boat is tied to a dock in Bradenton Beach. Several young people in Orlando had been sailing the boat over Labor Day weekend when the rough surf became too much to handle. Islander Photo: Lisa Neff

Manatee County’s public safety team reported a number of Anna Maria Island incidents associated with Hurricane Gustav last week.

A 46-year-old Apollo Beach man suffered injuries when lightning struck his boat near the Cortez Bridge on Aug. 30. The lightning strike caused a small fire on the boat, according to the West Manatee Fire Rescue District.

Also, several people were rescued without injuries from their boat near the Historic Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach on Aug. 31.

Bradenton Beach Mayor Michael Pierce said the boaters from Orlando were trying to tie down their boat at the pier when the vessel overturned.

The boat, on Sept. 2, was tied to a city dock - still overturned.

On the north end of Anna Maria Island, strong wind and surf on the bayside damaged at least one seawall and flooded sections of North Shore Drive.

A sewage line to the Rod & Reel Pier also suffered damage, but was repaired in time for the restaurant to open on Labor Day.

Meanwhile, on the Gulf side of the Island, Gustav’s waves generated strong surf drawing surfers, skimboarders and swimmers, despite warnings of dangerous rip currents from public safety officials.

Over the weekend, lifeguards and emergency medical technicians responded to a number of incidents on the beaches, including some minor jellyfish stings, treating a 7-year-old who fell on the beach, a swimmer who got caught in a rip current and a skimboarder who suffered a minor back and leg injury, according to Capt. Larry Leinhauser with Manatee County emergency medical operations.