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20-Foot Boat Takes Unexpected Land Detour, Crashing In to Palm Harbor Golf Club Sign

| September 30, 2018

boat crashes palm harbor golf course

The boat’s final position. (© FlaglerLive)

Somebody call Jon Netts.

A 20-foot blue center-console boat crashed into the Palm Harbor Golf Club sign at the corner of Palm Coast Parkway and Palm Harbor Parkway Saturday evening. No one was hurt.


A family was returning from an outing, trailing the boat behind a pick-up truck. The truck was driving west on Palm Coast Parkway after crossing the Hammock Dunes bridge. Immediately before the intersection with Palm Harbor Parkway, the trailer broke off from the truck due to what a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy described as a “faulty piece of equipment.”

The trailer rolled a distance until it came to a stop on the north grassy shoulder of the Parkway. The boat slipped off and continued on the grass as if it were on water, dipping into a shallow ditch then curving a bit north until it crashed into the flowerbed and the Palm Harbor Golf Club sign at the northeast corner of the intersection, knocking a concrete pillar along the way. The sign did not appear to have sustained much damage. It’s not yet clear how much damage the boat sustained. The trailer may have been destroyed.

The incident took place at 7:45 p.m. The Palm Coast Fire Police was soon at the scene, reducing light traffic on eastbound Palm Coast Parkway to one lane, as were two sheriff’s deputies, who did not consider the crash more than an accident, though the investigation was ongoing. A small crowd gathered around the site, with about half of it made up of the half-dozen-odd family members–children still in their swimsuits–who’d been returning from their outing with the boat.

When boats are in distress on local waters Jon Netts, the former Palm Coast mayor, is often called out to tow the boat, being an operator for TowBoat U.S. In this situation, however, John’s Towing of Bunnell was called in to tow the boat. TowBoat would have been out of its element. “We get boats aground in the water all the time,” Netts said this morning, but “not on land no,” though he recalled the closest thing to such an incident some 10 years ago when a boat was on a trailer to be moved out of a slip, the trailer broke off the truck and sank, requiring Netts to then to retrieve both boat and sunken trailer.

The city owns Palm Harbor Golf Club, which has had its troubles attracting enough golfers to break even over the years. Various marketing efforts notwithstanding, the city has no plans to add boat slips to the greens.

The boat knocked down a concrete culvert pillar and bent another on its way to  the sign. (© FlaglerLive)

The boat knocked down a concrete culvert pillar and bent another on its way to the sign. (© FlaglerLive)


boat trailer

The trailer. (© FlaglerLive)


boat palm harbor golf

(© FlaglerLive)

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14 Responses for “20-Foot Boat Takes Unexpected Land Detour, Crashing In to Palm Harbor Golf Club Sign”

  1. Concerned Citizen says:

    Glad there were no injuries. Quite a few people walk and bike that area.

    If you haul a trailer please do a regular inspection with each use. It’s very easy to become complacent and take things for granted. Like anything else trailer parts can break.

    When hauling anything you are responsible for making sure you have your load secure and have adequate lighting as well as current registration and tags.

    I have noticed recently with all of the tree debris from Palms on the roads that most of our landscapers could use a refresher on this.

  2. Joe evans says:

    Feeling sorry for the boater , been there. Question, do we really need Fire Police at all these minor crashes? They seem to tie up traffic more than get it moving. Also see them in parking lots for minor crashes. They park a truck with flashing lights and no one around directing traffic. Last crash there were 6 personal vehicles on PC Pkwy all with red lights flashing, for a fender bender. Fire rescue already left and 1 deputy was behind the crash. Seems redundant, overkill, dangerous and iam sure costly.

  3. W. Evans says:

    Feeling sorry

  4. oldtimer says:

    at least no one drowned lol

  5. Anonymous says:

    The only thing this Florida story is missing is an alligator coming out of the pond, and perhaps a mariachi band. Glad everyone was okay.

  6. Resident says:

    Very lucky nobody was hurt. In our hometown up north there was an accident where a trailer broke off. Killed one young man and severely injured 2 other teens. Sheriff Flemming I think was the chief back then. It was terrible.

  7. Tax payer says:

    Joe Evans, Please do your research before posting. Palm Coast Fire Police are not paid. They are all volunteers and help the first responders out keeping them safe as well as the citizens. Let just let the fire department and police do their job they know what they are doing.

  8. JustMe says:

    My husband and I have towed our boats for many years, and we have the hitch secure as well as two chains that also secure the trailer. Just the tow hitch isn’t a sure way to keep the boat safe. Just a suggestion for the future.

  9. Brian says:

    Working in Gainesville a trailer broke free and killed a coworker with the FDOT. Yes, check your equipment, check lights and secure loads.

  10. Ed says:

    There were chains ,they snapped there was also an emergency brake cable which snapped. That’s what shot the boat trailer off the side of the road.When the trailer dug into the grass the boat came off . Y

  11. Shark says:

    No safety chains or tiedowns on the stern of the boat ???

  12. gmath55 says:

    I bet those chains used to help secure a boat trailer are never tested or calculated for tensile strength. Tensile strength is related to how much a material can handle before failing.

    https://www.easycalculation.com/formulas/tensile-strength-formula.html

    http://physicsnet.co.uk/a-level-physics-as-a2/materials/stress-strain/

  13. DisgustedResident says:

    This is why folks need to take the boaters safety course before just arbitrarily purchasing a boat as it covers trailering a boat. If they were on I-95 they would have killed people. You can not rely on (2) small chains for safety even with smaller boats such as this one. There are other things you could have done to prevent this. A 2″ nylon strap is good for 2,000 pounds, so (2) stern straps & one on the bow mixed with the (2) chains and winched bow line should give you more than enough to hold down capacity. Does that sound like overkill? Probably, but this wouldn’t have happened? As another poster said, check your equipment before and after each use (also covered in the boaters safety course). I’m so glad no one was injured from this mistake.

    These are the types of people we live around folks, please be careful!

    My question is, who’s going to pay for the damages to the city property? I guess us, the tax payer.. thanks..

    Link to USCG Boaters Safety Course (you should take it):

    http://www.uscgboating.org/recreational-boaters/boating-safety-courses.php

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