Man trying to steal yacht slams into Miami Beach Marina

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Police are searching for a man who allegedly jumped into the water after he crashed into several boats while attempting to steal a yacht from a South Florida marina.

It happened around 11:30 p.m., Sunday, at the Miami Beach Marina, located at 300 Alton Rd., in Miami Beach.

It was a rude awakening for Jimmy Terry, who was sleeping on his boat when a man attempted to rob a yacht that was docked nearby. “I just started screaming, ‘Help, help, help, help, anybody, help,’ because the guy was going crazy.”

According to one witness, the captain of an 80-foot yacht had just docked at the marina, when a man hopped in and tried to steal the vessel. “It had just come in, and as he walked away, the next thing, the boat was stolen.”

Witnesses sent videos to 7News of the yacht as it slammed into other boats inside of the marina, making loud screeching and crashing sounds.

Terry, whose boat was damaged, said the man didn’t seem to know how to operate the boat and ended up hitting several other boats at the Marina, including his own. “The boat went crazy,” he said. “The captain lost power to one motor. It was going forward and backwards and just going bananas trying to get out. He lost power to one motor. That’s why he couldn’t get out. He rammed that boat. He rammed my boat and then hit everything that it was around.”

Witness Anfernee Rolle said he saw the whole debacle unfold. “From the boat driving down to the marina, to the boat crashing, to the boat damaging other people’s boats.”

According to witnesses, after the man’s failed attempts to steal the yacht, he either fell or jumped into the water.

Police searched the area but could not find the man responsible.

Half of the yacht then sank under water. Crews arrived shortly after to clean up the debris and assess the damage.

“Nobody was injured as a result of the incident on the docks at all,” said Miami Fire Rescue Captain Ignatius Carroll, “but as you can imagine, a lot of unanswered questions.”

Now Terry, as well as other boat owners are just happy nobody was hurt. “The guy was a freaking lunatic,” said Terry. “I mean, my life was in jeopardy, big time.”

If you have any information on this attempted yacht theft, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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