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Off-duty MCSO deputy springs into action after 'horrific' boat crash

Off-duty deputy springs into action after 'horrific' boat crash (WPEC)

The right place at the right time.

An off-duty deputy with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office jumped into action when two boats crashed on Tuesday.

Deputy Michael Libasci said he was heading to the St. Lucie Inlet, passing Mile Marker 17 at a place called Hell’s Gate, when he heard the impact.

“I heard a very large collision there was no mistaking it," he said. "I turned around, I saw a boat that was capsized, or appeared to be capsized to me, and I just immediately turned around and tried to see if everybody was OK."

But not everyone was OK.

“When I boarded the vessel and I was able to try to help gauge the injuries, I recognized very immediately that he was hurt badly and he needed immediate help,” Libasci said.

One person on each boat was hurt, one much worse than the other.

“I tried to help with slowing the bleeding down, keeping his airway open,” Libasci said. He said he kept doing that until Sea Tow brought them to Sandsprit Park, less than a mile from where the crash happened.

"At the time when we pulled up here, he was conscious but not alert," Libasci said. "He did have a pulse and he was breathing.”

Libasci said the other man gave him a thumbs up while they were on the water. That man was taken to the hospital as well.

While the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was combing through the two boats, a man with a hospital band on his wrist got belongings from one of the boats involved in the crash.

FWC did not release the names or conditions of either people involved. They are still working to determine the cause of the crash.

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