Boating Accident Involving Sheriff’s Deputy In Palm Beach County, Florida – Serious Personal Injuries Result (Arm Amputation)

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An off-duty Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputy had to have her arm amputated after suffering traumatic injuries last week in a boating accident. The boat crash happened in the Intercoastal Waterway just north of the Donald Ross Bridge.
Deputy Cheryl Griffin, 42, was boating on the Intercoastal with a friend when she ran into a dry dock. A boat on a lift fell on top of her 20-foot watercraft and pinned her momentarily underwater. Bystanders were able to free the deputy, who was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center where doctors amputated her arm due to severity of her injuries.
The other occupant of the wrecked vessel, 38-year-old Melissa Burdeen, suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from Jupiter Medical Center.
This horrific accident no doubt puts the deputy’s future career in law enforcement in jeopardy. Since she suffered the injury while she was off-duty, she will likely be concerned about coverage for her medical bills and time away from her job. FWC is conducting an investigation into the boating accident.
While automobile accidents are more prevalent in number and frequency, this story illustrates that boating accidents do happen and can cause life long serious permanent injuries. While some accidents are just that – accidents. Other boating accidents are caused by boater distraction, speeding, and boating negligence. Whether you are operating a boat, automobile or other vehicle or mechanical device in the State of Florida, be safe and careful to do your best to avoid accidents.

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