Jet skier feared death in hit-and-run

October 30, 2008

LEON Dunstan has been left wondering what the world has come to after the jet-ski he and two others were riding was the target of a hit-and-run involving a powerboat at the weekend.
The Tugun volunteer, who was assisting with the running of an outrigger canoeing regatta from Tweed Heads to Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast on Saturday, has been left with three stitches above his left eye and lacerations to his left hand and is battered and bruised after his jet-ski was hit by a powerboat as it crossed the Tweed bar.
"I remember the hull of the boat hitting me on the shoulder and I was pushed underwater, under the boat's hull," said the experienced jet-skier about the accident with the outboard powered boat.
"I can remember thinking if I hit the propellers I was a goner for sure. I had a buoyancy vest on so I bobbed up on the other side of the jet-ski. There was blood everywhere, and I can remember the passengers of the boat yelling out to us, so they definitely knew we were there even though they didn't stop."
The impact of the collision ripped the front hood off Mr Dunstan's Seadoo jet-ski, and has left cuts and cracks in its plastic hull.
"There is probably about $4000 worth of damage to the jet-ski. Because I work as a theatre technician and have open wounds, plus shoulder injuries, I can't work at the moment," Mr Dunstan said.
Mark and Darlene Powell, from the Currumbin Outrigger Club, were competitors in the regatta and seated at the rear of the jet-ski when it was hit by the boat sometime around 10am.
"We were heading out with the other support boats towards the south side of the Tweed bar," Mr Powell explained. "There was big swell of about two metres and Leon had steered the ski to try to avoid the swell.
"The next thing you know this boat that was coming from the north side of the bar was coming straight for us. I only had a few seconds to warn my wife and Leon, and then I threw Darlene off the jet-ski into the water so she wouldn't get hit.
"Darlene and I are okay, Leon is the one that got hit with the full force. It's just inhumane to think people wouldn't stop at the scene of an accident whether it is on the water or on the road."
The accident has been reported to NSW Maritime and Tweed Heads Police, who are believed to be investigating the incident. although it is not known if any charges have or will be laid.
"I don't care who is right or wrong. The fact that the driver of the boat didn't stop to assist us and left the accident scene, just shows how low some people are," Mr Dunstan said.
Jet skier feared death in hit-and-run - Tweed Heads News, Weather, Sport & Local Classifieds | Tweed Daily News - 2008-10-30 ..