Mayor shaken up in boating mishap
December 6, 2011 · 5:40 PM
It was a painful fall for Mayor Lary Coppola.
Not the outcome of the Port Orchard mayor's election; this was a literal fall when Coppola had to jump from a pier onto his 28-foot boat when it slipped into gear as he tried to get it moored Sunday.
It was around midday when Coppola pulled his vessel, the Caribbean Soul, up to the pier at the Annapolis Dock. He said he took the boat out of gear but left it running because he planned to check a vibration he heard in the engine.
But when Coppola, who was alone, climbed out to secure the boat, the engine slipped back into gear and the boat started to move away. He tried to tie a rope from the boat around a cleat, but the rope was pulled from his hands, causing him to fall on the pier.
The boat was moving in circles and when it came around close to the pier again, Coppola said he jumped aboard but took a tumble that left him "really sore" later.
He regained control of his boat, but it was damaged from striking the pier a couple times. With assistance from a Kitsap County sheriff's deputy who responded to the scene, Coppola was eventually able to get his boat secured at the dock.
When he had a mechanic check the boat later, the problem of the engine slipping into gear happened again, Coppola said.