Victim knocked from sailboat – swims to shore

Debra Johnson reported to Historic City News that Flagler County deputies responded to 600 Cinnamon Beach Way at the Cinnamon Beach Condominium after midnight this morning to investigate the discovery of a man who claimed to have been lost at sea last night.

46 year-old Brian Jeffrey Oliver, who resides at 306 San Marco Ave. in St. Augustine, was discovered by a security officer when he walked out from between two of the buildings at the resort; wearing board shorts and shirtless.

According to U.S. Coast Guard reports, just before 5:00 p.m. last night, Oliver was a passenger on the sailboat “Cedar Roost” located about two miles off the coast of Flagler Beach.

Witnesses say that a large wave came up and knocked Oliver off the boat.

On the boat with Oliver when he went overboard was 53 year-old Helene Boning and 48 year-old Andries Bannink. Neither had any sailing experience and emergency officials had to rescue them and the vessel.

Crews spent hours searching two miles to the east of the shoreline looking for Oliver; without success. According to Oliver, he made his way to shore aided by a Styrofoam ice chest which used as a flotation device.

Coast Guard officials had communication problems with the stranded pair at sea because they are both from Finland and had difficulty speaking English.

Johnson reported that medical personnel arrived on the scene and checked the health and well-being of the victim. Oliver appeared to be cold and was shaking, but stated he was fine. He refused to be transported to the hospital.

Oliver was transported to the St. Johns County line where he was picked up by a St. Johns County deputy and brought back to his residence.

The original call was dispatched to Flagler Beach Police Department. Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard stated that they would be following up with Oliver later at his home. No charges were reported in the sailing accident.

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