Owners: Steering cable broke before Lake Panasoffkee airboat crash

By Spectrum News 13,
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 8:21 AM EDT

The Sumter County owners of the Tom and Jerry's Airboat Rides say the steering cable on an airboat broke before the crash that left 14 people hurt.

The 14 people are recovering Wednesday morning after they were injured in an airboat crash in Sumter County Tuesday.

Nine people have been taken to hospitals. Three were taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center — one by air — and six others were taken to Leesburg, Sumter County Fire officials said.

Sumter County leaders say they are awaiting the results of the investigation before taking any action on restricting airboats, but they feel airboats are a staple in the community.

“Airboats are here to stay, they are a part of Florida, they are a part of Florida life, they are a part of Sumter County life,” said Doug Gilpin, Sumter County commissioner for District 2.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife are investigating the accident.

Tom and Jerry's Airboat Rides will stay closed on Wednesday and may open back up Thursday or Friday.