DESTIN — A Destin woman critically injured last weekend in a "freak" boating accident continues to make slow progress toward recovery, according to an online blog by her daughter.
Lee Ann Dorn, 55, received severe abdominal injuries after striking a propeller when she was jumping off the back of a boat in the Gulf of Mexico.
She is at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, where her condition is slowly improving, Chelsey wrote in her CaringBridge blog.
Friends started a GoFundMe page Tuesday night that already has raised more than $7,500.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission preliminary accident report, Dorn was injured about 6:15 p.m. on Saturday while getting off the back of a 24-foot boat owned by a friend. She struck the propeller on the outboard engine.
The report indicated that the boat was "underway" at the time. FWC officials have since clarified that underway does not mean the boat was moving, only that it wasn't tethered, anchored or aground.
It is not clear from the report whether the propeller was spinning or the outboard motor was running. FWC Spokeswoman Rebekah Nelson said that is under investigation.
But Dayna Kimberly, who was on the boat at the time of the accident, said the boat was not moving and the motor wasn't running. She said the propeller wasn't spinning.
"The boat was off," she told the Daily News. "It was an unfortunate but freak accident."
She added that the boat had to be started to get Lee Ann to shore quickly for help.
Lee Ann had been on the boat with her husband, Phil, their daughter, and five other friends, including Kimberly.
The report said several of the individuals were in the water at the time of the accident.
Kimberly said another passenger jumped in when they realized Lee Ann was in trouble. After getting her on the boat, they drove it to shore and beached it to get her help as quickly as possible, Kimberly said.
The boat was owned by Hayden Hubbard, who Kimberly said was in the water at the time of the accident.
The accident occurred in the Gulf of Mexico east of the Destin East Pass near the Aegean Condominium, Nelson said.
Multiple investigators were called to the scene, including a fatality investigator, which Nelson said was common with a serious accident.
Three Memphis doctors and a nurse who were on the beach when the boat came ashore provided emergency care until Lee Ann could be flown to the hospital.
Lee Ann is the wife of Fort Walton Beach High School Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Phil Dorn. The high school community has drawn together to support the Dorn family. In its weekly email update to parents, the school summarized the events and gave families options to help the Dorns.
"Ms. Dorn’s family is requesting continued positive thoughts and prayers from all of the Viking Family, as Lee Ann begins to navigate through recovery," the email said, in part.
Updates on her condition can be found at www.caringbridge.org. The GoFundMe account is also under the name of Lee Ann Dorn.