FLW College Boating Accident Caused By Hydraulic Steering Issue

University of Florida anglers OK after being thrown from their bass boat on Lake Seminole.

The GoPro video of two University of Florida college tournament anglers being thrown from their bass boat on Lake Seminole has gone viral. The two young men were competing in the 2017 YETI FLW College Fishing tournament on Jan. 14 when they were flung out of their boat while running at 60 mph toward their first fishing location of the morning.

We’re glad to report that Conner Young and Hunter Bland were both OK and actually fished the last 90 minutes of the tournament near the boat ramp, although they weren’t able to boat a keeper during their short time on the water.

“According to Bland, a part associated with the hydraulic steering control broke,” said Joseph Opager, FLW Director of Public Relations. “Another team competing from Wake Forest University stopped and picked up Bland and Young to bring them back to the takeoff site. An FLW staff boat met the Wake Forest team en route and brought Bland and Young back to the takeoff site.”

All FLW tournaments have rules in place to ensure that competitors are taking the necessary precautions to be safe while competing on the water.

“We are extremely thankful that Conner and Hunter were following the tournament rules and wearing their personal floatation devices and had their emergency ignition-shut-off device properly connected,” said Opager. “We hope that all anglers will see this (GoPro) video as a learning experience on the importance of safety on the water, and that they will always properly wear their PFDs and use and maintain their boat’s emergency ignition-shutoff device.”

FLW College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top-10 teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top-20 teams from the annual FLW College Fishing Open will advance to the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

College Fishing is free to enter. All participants must be registered, full-time students at a college, university or community college and members of a college fishing club that is recognized by their school.

To see the 2017 YETI FLW College Fishing tournament results from Seminole, go to FLWfishing.com.

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