Widely reported in the local Florida and national media, yesterday’s charter plane crash into Lake Okeechobee claimed the lives of four attorneys, as well as the life of the pilot, who worked for the South Florida-based Peterson Bernard law firm. Among those who died was longtime Florida Powerboat Club attorney Eric Peterson. He was 73 years old, according to FPC president Stu Jones, who said that he and the “entire Florida Powerboat Club family” are devastated by the loss.
A South-Florida-based powerboat enthusiast, Peterson ran his 30-foot Scarab center console alongside Jones in his Project 1040 Cigarette 38 Top Gun sportboat last weekend. Photos courtesy/copyright Stu Jones/Florida Powerboat Club.
“This is a tragedy beyond belief to many of us here in South Florida, particularly the extended boating family around Florida Powerboat Club circles,” said Jones. “Eric was not only a successful attorney, he was a local boater who loved hanging around and meeting members of FPC on various poker runs. Often, he and his fellow attorneys would share legal advice with FPC on important matters of safety management and incident response.
“Eric was just in love with the club and the spirited lifestyle that we stood for,” he continued. “When we staged our FPC Safety Management Summit at the Miami Boat Show in 2013, Eric was there to monitor the meeting and later shared his findings with me, to help draft the program which stands today—all with no legal fees attached. That’s the kind of amazing person he was.”
During last month’s FPC Miami Boat Show Poker Run, Peterson let Jones and his staff use his waterfront vacation residence in Key Largo as home-base for the club’s Saturday afternoon beach barbecue and raft-up.
“Eric had graciously shared his beautiful Key Largo waterfront home with FPC on at least two occasions for BBQ rendezvous parties, and most recently during the Miami Boat Show Poker Run,” said Jones. “I just can’t believe we’ve lost such a wonderful person. Our thoughts and prayers go to his wife and son, and of course to all his professional colleagues at his law firm.”
On more than one occasion, Peterson let the Florida Powerboat Club use his Key Largo home.