FWC: Man leaves destruction in wake while boating drunk

Image 1 of 15

A Clearwater man faces charges after he left a trail of destruction in his wake while boating drunk, Florida Fish and Wildlife said Friday.

According to investigators, Robert Hart, 44, crashed a boat into several docks and vessels at about 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. His blood alcohol level was reported at nearly twice the legal limit.

"It almost sounded like gunfire, but it wasn't. It was my dock in pieces," said Andy Kotsaftis, of Madiera Beach, whose dock was destroyed. "I ran out here and he was pulling away after he drove right  through the dock and just crumpled it like toothpicks."

FWC said officers spent hours Friday trying to determine how much damage Hart caused.

"It's off the wall. I've been living here 30 years, I've never seen anything like this," Kotsaftis said, adding it's fortunate no one was hurt. "It's incredible; especially the kids who were down here fishing on that dock. It would have been a mess."

The boat Hart was operating is named the "Laura Jean," and has a "Catching Hell" logo on the side.

FOX 13 has learned the logo is a reference to a 2014 Weather Channel reality show about spear fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, in which the same boat was featured.

Hart is charged with operating a vessel while under the influence and leaving the scene of a boating crash. His passenger, who FWC said was a 37-year-old man, was not hurt and is not facing charges.

Hart has been arersted eight other times in Pinellas County, mostly on alcohol and drug charges.