6 rescued from sinking boat off West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A group of boaters said they’re lucky to be alive after they were saved by good Samaritans on the Intracoastal Waterway, off West Palm Beach.

7News camperas captured the boaters hugging each other moments after setting foot on dry land.

One of the boaters, John Watson, said he’s grateful to have made it back safely. “I’m blessed. I’m alive, I’m breathing,” he said.

Watson was on his boat with some family and friends late Sunday afternoon when it started taking on water just off the boat ramp in Currie Park.

“The boat basically just sank and went down,” said Watson.

Other boaters watched what was unfolding and raced to the scene.

The captain of the boat who rescued them did not want to go on camera, but he said he just did what he had to do.

People who come to the park on a regular basis said this incident does not shock them.

“Not really. This is an accident. It’s what you’d call an accident,” said Leon Charles. “Accidents happen, and it doesn’t matter where it is — it happens.”

Others said boaters need to watch out when when storms roll in the area.

“A small boat don’t stand a chance, not when the tide gets rough,” said witness Ralph Hightower. “It’s good nobody got hurt. Thank God. There could have been a terrible accident.”

As for Watson, he’s thankful to all involved for the rescue.

“Thank God. Thank you so much. You are a lifesaver,” he said to the good Samaritans. “They didn’t have to help us. They could have kept going, but they didn’t.”

The West Palm Beach Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office also took part in the rescue. The U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are investigating.

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