Man in airboat shoots at construction crews working on bridge, workers say

You’ve heard of road rage, but how about boat rage? 

Construction crews with Underwater Mechanix say a man in an airboat shot at them from the water Saturday. 

That happened while they were working on a bridge right by the Seminole/Volusia County line on State Route 46.

Investigators from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office showed up Saturday evening when this happened. They also went out on the water on Monday morning with the construction crew, searching for evidence to help with the case. So far, though, the alleged shooter is still on the loose. 

Dakota Atkinson, the Dive Supervisor of Underwater Mechanix, remembers things vividly. He says the crew saw the man pull out a bag and then pull a gun from it. 

"Everybody hit the deck really quick," said Atkinson. "Everyone was on the ground. He fired at basically where they would have been standing, and it could have been really bad."

The gunfire wasn’t the crew’s first encounter with the alleged shooter.

The workers say the boater kept flying by them at full speed, 25 or 50 feet away, despite several high-flying dive flags indicating boaters must stay at least 300 feet away. That isn’t just annoying; it’s extremely dangerous.


"You're sending a bunch of waves, and our floats are becoming incredibly unstable," explained Atkinson. "Someone in the water, not to mention the divers below the water, are also worried about their heads getting smashed in."

The crews said they repeatedly tried to get the air boater’s attention. 

"We're waving our arms. We're like, trying to, like, splash in the water," said Robert Richardson, another dive crew member.

Things got out of hand the third time he approached. Atkinson started recording to try to get the guy’s registration number. He said that’s when the guy started shooting. However, the boater didn’t stop there.

"He proceeded to circle around our work floats at full speed," said Atkinson. "Basically to just wake us out, I guess, send more fear at us."

"That was wrong. You don't do that to nobody. There’s other dudes that have families," said Richardson. "There's also people here that come out with children. That's another thing. Does not just us, just people here."

Work on the bridge is paused right now.

"That is intent to kill," said Atkinson. "Until he's locked up, I'm not going to feel safe working out there again."