FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A multi-agency rescue effort saved the lives of four boaters who ended up in the water off the coast of Fort Lauderdale.
The four boaters were tossed into the water when their vessel capsized three-quarters of a mile offshore at around 11:20 a.m., Tuesday.
The boaters told 7News they were fishing and were heading back to shore due to weather when, they believe, their anchor got caught in the boat’s propeller, capsizing the vessel. One of the boaters kept his phone out of the water to call 911.
“We were doing fine. He dropped the anchor, and then we were going to get out of there because it was going to rain, and it was getting rough,” said rescued boater Sandera Foo-Lowe. “We were trying to pull the anchor, couldn’t get it in, couldn’t get the anchor in. Then he realized it was caught up in the propeller thing and the engine. Then it was taking in more and more water, and then eventually we’re like, ‘OK.’ We put our life vests on, and then it just kind of flipped us over in the water.”
7SkyForce HD directed rescue crews towards two people in that water who were subsequently rescued by Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue.
“The Channel 7 chopper was already up in the air, and we’re able to communicate with them,” Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan said. “They were able to give us the exact location of the boat.”
Two of the boaters could be seen with their life jackets on as they used a buoy to swim towards the BSFR boat.
“It’s like really hard, the current, trying to get in, but we’re trying to go towards the shore,” said Foo-Lowe. “I didn’t panic. They always said not to panic in the water, so I never panicked.”
Marciano Rios, 16, and his father were on board the vessel, and they were rescued by a Fort Lauderdale Police boat.
“I don’t really even know what to say because I’m still going through, like, the rush of it, like, the adrenaline,” Rios said. “I almost got pulled under, but luckily, I jumped off in time.”
Video from 7SkyForce HD showed Rio’s father being transported to the hospital for observation after he swallowed some water. He is expected to be OK.
Before the boat capsized, the group caught one fish, which Foo-Lowe showed was in the cooler.
The boat was towed to the 15th Street Fisheries.
The National Weather Service in Miami had advised boaters on small vessels to exercise caution due to windy conditions.
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