According to a press release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), a boating accident in the Tampa Bay shipping channel near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge claimed the life of performance boat enthusiast and national and world champion offshore racer Michael Anderson, who owned Performance Outboards and Machine in Largo, Fla.
Mike Anderson (left, pictured with George, center, and Micheal Stancombe in Qatar) died Saturday morning in a boating accident.
At approximately 4 a.m. this morning (October 13), FPC received information about an incident involving a 28-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran with two people on board—one male and one female—that hit a Range Marker piling in the early morning hours. Both of the individuals on board the vessel were trauma alerted to Bayfront Hospital in St. Petersburg, where Anderson, 53, died from his injuries. The female, Cheryl Iorio, 50, is still listed in serious condition.
The FWC is the lead for the ongoing boating incident investigation and received assistance from St. Petersburg Fire Rescue, the United States Coast Guard, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. FWC officers were working to have the vessel removed from the Range Marker piling, although the vessel was not creating a navigational hazard.
The FWC sent its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the individuals involved in this incident.
Micheal Stancombe, a longtime friend of Anderson, was devastated when he heard the news this morning that his occasional teammate—the two raced together several times including in Stancombe’s Peppers Offshore Racing Skater at the Qatar Cup in 2015—died in the accident.
“You were my friend, brother, fellow troublemaker and confidant,” Stancombe wrote in a Facebook post. “We won world championships side by side. Boat rides, setting raceboats up and tearing stuff up like the 12-year-olds that we were (acting like). I’m going to miss you my friend. God speed.”
Chad Shutter, of Boat Repairs Plus in Denver, N.C., shared his thoughts on Anderson as well on Facebook.
“This morning we all lost a great friend and family member,” Shutter said. “Words are always hard to find and usually seem meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Here’s to you, Mike Anderson! Thank you for always treating me like a little brother—helping out, teaching and keeping us safe. To me, there was no better feeling than running side by side in a boat with you and being taught by one of the best throttleman I know.! I owe a lot to you for what I’ve learned over the past years, in and out of a boat. We will always love and remember you, big brother!”