Parents of teen killed in tubing accident speak out - - The News for South Mississippi

Parents of teen killed in tubing accident speak out


Mike Turner visited Gulfport Lake Sunday for the first time since his son Mason was killed there seven months ago.

"I can't describe the feeling, it's sickening," said Mike.

His wife, Shannon, says she remembers that day vividly. After laying down for a nap, Mason knocked on her door.

"Around 2:30, Mason came in the room and said, ‘Mom I'm going to go out on the boat.' The last thing I had said to him was ‘make sure you take sunscreen with you'," said Shannon.

Mason went out to Gulfport Lake on a boat with a family friend and two other teens. That's when he went tubing for the first and last time.

Shannon was told that the boat came back with Mason's lifeless body just minutes after leaving the dock.

"He came back and the man and his buddy, who are in the military, jumped on the boat. They tried to do CPR, but they told me Mason was gone," said Shannon.

The driver of the boat had gone into a narrow channel with a long rope tied to the tube. Mason was flung off the tube and hit a tree. An autopsy by the Harrison County coroner revealed he died from blunt force trauma to the head.

"I want people to take the time to read the instructions on these floats, to understand that your first time taking your children, family members, friends out on these floats may end up having to deal with what I had to on July 23," said Shannon.

As spring approaches, people here on the coast are preparing to go out on the water. The Turners want to let people know just how important it is to stay safe.

"We didn't think nothing like this would ever happen to us, you know always somebody else. Just be careful," said Mike.

Mason would have been 16 this past October.

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