Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Ala., and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are conducting concurrent investigations and sharing information. The purpose of the Coast Guard’s investigation is to identify contributing factors that led to the incident and take appropriate measures to assist in preventing future marine accidents.
Panama City Beach Fire Department, Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Coast Guard and other local emergency services responded to the scene. The resulting accident critically injured both girls and caused significant damage, including damage to the condominium and vehicles in the parking lot.
“The Coast Guard investigates all reportable marine casualties and accidents to determine the causal factors, so that through regulation and education we might prevent similar incidents from recurring,” said Lt. John Authement, supervisor at Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Panama City. “We also investigate these incidents to collect evidence of misconduct, negligence, or violation of law or regulation by Coast Guard licensed or documented members of the Merchant Marine.”