Video Shows Unmanned Boat Doing 'Doughnuts' After Man Is Thrown Out

While out boating in an Aransas Pass, Texas, canal, two men spotted another man in the water after he was thrown from his boat, which was seen doing doughnuts.

A video, posted to Ty Southerland's YouTube channel 30milesOut where it was viewed more than 22,000 times, showed the pair of men helping the thrown boater into their own boat and calling for assistance.

Throughout the video, Southerland added some boat safety tips and mentioned the importance of utilizing an engine kill switch, which stops a boat's engine if the operator falls out.

"The telltale sign that someone fell out of the boat is that the boat was doing doughnuts," Southerland told Newsweek.

He said his friend first noticed that something was off when they were about 200 yards down the channel. When they pulled up, Southerland said the man seemed to be in shock and may have been in the water for some time before they got to him.

In the video, the man told Southerland he fell out of the boat after he looked down to pick up his drink.

"When I leaned over, I must have pulled the handle a little bit," the man explained to Southerland in the video. "[The boat] must have hit the sand over here and flipped me off."

Boat
A video shows a pair of men helping another man after he was thrown out of his boat. The man was allegedly thrown after hitting a sandbar. SHansche/iStock

Southerland told Newsweek he called 911, who then notified the harbor police of the matter. The men watched the unmanned boat to ensure no one would get hit by it.

Because it was a weekday, there were not many people out on the water.

"It was doing circles, but it was moving toward a sandbar," Southerland explained. "Eventually, it hit it and it got lodged."

They took it as an opportunity to get back on board the unmanned boat and get it under control. Southerland accompanied the man back to land to make sure he traveled safely. By the time they reached the docks, harbor officials were preparing to go out.

Southerland told Newsweek the entire incident lasted between 45 minutes to an hour from when the man was first spotted to when they got him to the dock.

Though the incident resolved itself, Southerland urged everyone to use a kill switch.

According to a piece by the United States Coast Guard about boating safety, the kill switch clip is attached to the boat operator's life jacket, clothing or wrist. If the operator leaves the helm for any reason, the clip pulls out and the engine stops.

"Dozens of Americans are injured or killed every year in accidents that an engine cut-off switch could have prevented, included 172 propeller strike accidents in 2019 alone," the piece stated. "Those accidents resulted in 35 deaths and 155 injuries."

CBS affiliate station KENS 5 reported that Kali's Law was passed in Texas in 2019, which requires a driver of a boat 26 feet or shorter to have a lanyard connected to a kill switch. This law was implemented after Kali Gorzell was thrown off a boat, hit by the propeller and died.

The man was uninjured, and Southerland told Newsweek he was glad he was there to help.

"It all worked out," he said. "Dealing with that runaway boat was like dealing with a wild mustang."