On Monday morning, Judy Montague was diving off Key West Bight, a historic seaport in Key West, was hit by the propellers of a 72-foot yacht.
Judy Montague was transported by helicopter to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami where she underwent surgery to her leg. Her status, while unknown, has been reported as remaining critical.
The cause of the incident is still unclear today. Capt. Pedro Arpon, who was operated the yacht, The Palagon, at the time, is still being heard by the investigators and charges have not been levied yet. The first element of answer came from Officer Bobby Dube of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) who is investigating the incident.
Dube has stated that for now, this incident could have been caused by miscommunication between the yacht operator and Judy Montague. Apparently, the engines of the boat were turned on and minutes later Judy Montague, who was still near the propellers, was hit while the yacht was still idling.
It is also possible that alcohol may have played a role in this incident, which could explain why the operator of the yacht failed to turn off the boat’s engines upon realizing that a vulnerable diver was in close proximity of the boat. Last summer, after a fatal boating incident, the FWC suspected that alcohol was the determining factor in the death of two people. You can read more information about that incident here.
Leesfield Scolaro has been established in Key West for well over 30 years. Ira Leesfield has resolved countless boating accident cases, including recently the tragic death of a small child who was hit by a speed boat operated by a minor child. You can read more about Leesfield Scolaro boating accident’s page here.