A birthday paddle board trip on Big Talbot Island turned into a scary experience for three friends.
One of them was rushed to the hospital with severe cuts after she was knocked off her board.
“Very deep lacerations, I think there was a ligament that was torn,” CJ Hetcka of Kayak Amelia said.
The friends rented paddle boards from Kayak Amelia and were out on the water when they were pushed toward an oyster bed by a jet skier’s wake.
“A huge boat came by, didn’t slow down and just swamped her,” CJ Hetchka said.
The woman’s friends and a boater helped her to shore. Fire rescue brought her to the hospital.
“People worry about gators, snakes and sharks. I worry about oysters,” Ray Hetchka, owner of Kayak Amelia said. “One misstep or one fall and they are razor sharp.”
A sign is posted near the Kayak Amelia boat launch warning people about the danger.
Ray Hetchka said he warns customers to wear protective footwear and stay away from the oyster beds.
“It’s very easy to dump somebody, especially these girls happen to be on stand up boards, which are less stable than kayaks,” he said.
He said it’s up to everyone on the water to be aware of their surroundings – and ensure there’s enough space between boaters.
“Slow down when you’re around people. It’s the golden rule. Do onto others. If you don’t want somebody to do that to you, don’t do that to someone else,” he said.
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