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Teen Fatality in Labor Day Boating Accident

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Posted on September 12, 2013

Updated on October 13, 2013

On Labor Day September 3, 213 Katie Yule, a 15-year-old student of Keswick Christian School was fatally injured in a boating accident on Lake Seminole in Pinellas County.

The accident occurred when Katie, along with a companion, Aubree Franz, 13, of St. Petersburg, were riding on a tube together being towed behind her father’s center console motorboat. As the boat was maneuvering, the tube collided with a personal watercraft (wave-runner) being operated by Ryan Godcharles, 21, of Naples.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office, Yule died from serious internal injuries including a punctured lung. Franz survived the collision and suffered only minor injuries. Godcharles was uninjured by the accident.

Officials are continuing to investigate the crash, but early data shows that it appears to have been a tragic accident.

Friends and supporters of the Yule family fostered an outpour of support at a memorial service held at Katie’s school in the chapel on the evening following the tragedy.

Counselors and local pastors remained on campus in the days following the accident to help students cope with the loss. Pastor Jerry Busby, a member of the Keswick school board, explained how he saw Katie as a blessing to everyone she met. “She was a joyful soul and a fun friend,” said Bugsby at the Tuesday evening prayer service. “She was a follower of Jesus Christ.”