Former NASA astronaut Alan "Dex" Poindexter dies Monday after his son crashed into him while riding jet skis in Little Sabine Bay in Pensacola, Florida. Poindexter was on one jet ski with his younger son when their watercraft was struck by another ski ridden by Poindexter's other son.
Poindexter was rescued from the water and his friends brought him onto the beach and tried to administer aid. From the beach he was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries.
My sympathies to the family of this American hero and particularly to his sons who tragically had to see this happen. Prior to becoming a test pilot, Poindexter, a California native, was a combat pilot in Operation Desert Storm.
Hopefully, this tragedy can help others learn about the dangers of watercraft and how to operate them safely. Jet skis and boats can be a lot of fun, but they can be very dangerous. Use them safely, where a life jacket, and even consider taking a boating safety class from the U.S. Coast Guard.
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