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Today's Letters: Helicopter landed despite dangers

Published April 25, 2007


On Sunday, my family and some guests took our boat out to North Anclote Bar in the Gulf of Mexico. There is a sign that says you can swim, camp, use grills and have pets among other innocuous things. All of these of course with the proviso that you will clean up after yourselves so it will remain accessible to all that would like to visit.

What the sign does not state however, is that you can land a helicopter there. At about 2:30 p.m. a helicopter owned by a private citizen landed on the sand bar, blowing over people's belongings, canopies, umbrellas, all of which became projectiles, with one umbrella's pointy bottom narrowly missing my friend's face as it whizzed by the side of our boat and landed in the water in front of another boat. Sand and rocks also flew by where my own 7-year-old and his friend were playing.

The landing was executed with total disregard for life and limb and property of other people. In the helicopter were a man and a woman who flew in to meet up with other friends who had arrived by boat. There was absolutely no regard for the potential hazard. They actually walked and stepped over the ruined belongings of the other people to get to their friend's boat.

They laughed about their landing, popped open beers and started drinking. After I raised my voice saying they had destroyed the items and were totally irresponsible, the man finally stood up and said he was "sorry." Did not offer to help to clean up.

I called 911 to find out if this was legal, but was transferred among agencies. What irks me is the pilot's sheer callousness and disregard for anyone, and the fact that no one in the Pinellas Sheriff's Office or the Fish and Game office could offer any assistance.

Susan Falcone, Hudson

His life was short, but his light still shines April 24 Andrew Skerritt column

Parents never get over loss of child

I'm glad you wrote this article. Every day, I think about my 15-month-old baby, Gavin Diesel Tyszko, who passed away. He was hit by my next-door neighbor. The impact that its had on our two families is hard to explain.

My kids, all six of them, still attend the hospice camp. They were just in the Floridian section of the Times for attending the camp.

People tell me it will get easier. I can say they must not have had this happen, because it hasn't gotten any better for us or my neighbor since November 2004.

We did have another baby, and he is a joy.

Laurie Tyszko, Hudson

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[Last modified April 24, 2007, 23:22:51]

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