News Releases

FWC charges tow boat operator with boating under the influence

News Release

Monday, June 20, 2011

Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have charged a local tow boat captain with boating under the influence.

Timothy R. Pooler (DOB 07/20/47) of Boynton Beach had been dispatched to assist two men whose boat had broken down 25 miles off Delray Beach Thursday evening. In written statements, the men said Pooler arrived approximately four hours later and began to hook the boats up. The men told the FWC that Pooler drove them around in circles for hours in the darkness.  

By daybreak, Pooler asked one of the men to drive his tow boat. The tow boat ran out of fuel, and the men provided fuel from their own boat. By that time, the engine on the disabled boat had cooled sufficiently for it to regain power. The men towed Pooler's tow boat until they decided to cut it loose.

When the men's boat shut down again, another tow boat was dispatched to assist. The FWC picked up the impaired tow boat operator, and the second tow boat brought the men to shore.

Just after 9 a.m. Friday, all arrived at a marina in Jupiter, about 30 miles north of where they had departed the day before.

Pooler demonstrated impairment while performing a series of field sobriety tasks administered by FWC officers. He refused to provide a breath or urine sample.

Pooler told FWC officers he had consumed alcohol Thursday and should not have reported for duty as a tow boat operator. He also acknowledged being on several prescription medications.

"The FWC has zero-tolerance for boating under the influence," said FWC Maj. Jeff Hubert. "Fortunately, no one was hurt in this incident."

FWC Facts:
The average Florida manatee is about 10 ft. long and close to 1,200 lbs. They can reach up to 13 ft. and 3,500 lbs. Calves are 3-4 ft. long & weigh 60-70 lbs. at birth.

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