None of the boaters were injured.
The Grumman Albatross was taking off between the swimming area and the Windbag Marina at about 1:30 p.m., kicking up a two-foot wake. The waves, combined with the prop wash from the 1,500-horsepower engines tipped the boat over.
"It was ridiculous, just ridiculous the way he went tearing out of here," said Windbag Marina owner Keith Sheckler, who saw the 60-foot-long sea plane take off.
The boat's occupants were with the city of Sandpoint and Sandpoint West Athletic Club Summer Adventure Camp. They were practicing sailing maneuvers in front of the marina when the plane began to roar away.
"I thought he was going to hit our sail he was that close," said camp counselor Chrissy Ross, 19.
"He started his propellers and we said, 'Oh my gosh,' and he went faster and faster. All this exhaust hit me in the face and then, smack, we were in the water," added Cody Helander, 12.
Also in the boat was counselor Emily Smith, 19, and Matt Geiger, 10.
Sheckler rescued the sailers and righted their vessel. No damage was done to the boat and the group was quickly back to their sailing lessons, though a bit shaken up.
"Jeez it was scary," Helander said.
The pilot, 50-year-old London resident John Russell, was cited for negligent operation and the Federal Aviation Administration was advised of the incident, according to Bonner County Sheriff's Marine Patrol Supervisor Sgt. Larry Schulze.
Schulze said Russell, a commercial airline pilot, had been given poor advice as to where he could operate the plane at City Beach. The pilot expressed regret over the incident.
"He contacted everyone he could find that was involved and apologized to them personally," Schulze said.
News editor Keith Kinnaird contributed to this report.