VOLUNTEER Marine Rescue (VMR) Raby Bay Commodore Keith Williams said a boating accident in Raby Bay last Monday, in which a 15-year-old Cleveland boy was hit by a propellor and killed, was the worst maritime accident he has seen in his 15 years of service.
At 4.10pm on Monday, the boy and his 17-year-old male friend, from Thornlands, were driving a 16-foot speed boat in circles around beacons in Raby Bay when a wave knocked them from the boat.
Mr Williams was on the scene within 10 minutes of the accident, after seeing the boat circling with no passengers on board, and recovered the 15-year-old's body.
"We were already heading to another job over on Straddie and had two paramedics on board," Mr Williams said.
"In all my 15 years of doing (marine rescue), it was the most tragic accident I've seen.
"He was so young and was so close to his home.
"If he had gone home two minutes earlier, nothing like this would have happened."
Mr Williams said he found the 17-year-old Thornlands boy on a rock, suffering mild hypothermia.
"He said he didn't see his friend surface," Mr Williams said.
State Water Police coordinator Inspector David Kolb said it was a tragic accident.
"The two young guys were in a small speed boat, and both fell from the boat," Inspector Kolb said.
"The 15-year-old was hit by the propellor and was killed.
"I can't say whether the 15-year-old boy was driving."
Inspector Kolb could not confirm whether the 17-year-old had a boat licence, but said he was thankful VMR was first on the scene.
"VMR were doing a medivac for us," he said.
"We use them to do a lot of medivacs from the islands, at our request.
"They were engaged in that and just happened to come across the boat, which was doing circles because no one was on board."
Inspector Kolb said water police were still investigating the accident.
"Obviously, it is a coronial matter as well," Inspector Kolb said.