NEAR FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) – Recently released 911 calls capture the frantic moments after a boat carrying tourists from Indiana collided with a jetty near Fort Lauderdale on New Year’s Eve.
The tourists from Indianapolis were in South Florida for the new year and to celebrate a birthday when the crash occurred.
When the 911 operator asked where the address of the emergency was, one of the boaters said, “Yeah, hi, ma’am. I ran into the shore. I need 911 emergency assistance. It’s right out of Port Everglades.”
The dispatcher asked, “OK, where at the port?”
“Right out at the entrance of Port Everglades,” a boater said. “We hit the rocks right at Port Everglades.”
After a few moments of confusion, the dispatcher realized she was talking to someone on a boat.
“How many people are on the boat?” the dispatcher asked.
“Four people,” the caller responded.
“Is anyone injured?” the dispatcher said.
“Yes, one person needs emergency assistance immediately,” the caller replied. “I don’t know what to do. I’m trying to get (inaudible).”
“911 now!” another boater screamed. “I need to help my friend!”
“What happened?” the dispatcher asked.
“I don’t know,” the second boater said. “We went into the rocks. It was dark. I wasn’t driving. I don’t know. Her head is bleeding. Her entire head is bleeding, and we need, and we need an ambulance now for them. Lauren is bleeding. She is moving, but she is bleeding, and the water keeps hitting her.”
“Is the water coming over the edge onto the boat?” the dispatcher asked.
“Uh, no, she’s on the rocks,” the second boater said as a woman screamed in the background. “She was moved away from the boat.”
Soon after, the woman on the phone began hyperventilating as panic began to set in, and the dispatcher could be heard trying to keep her calm.
“OK, OK, take a deep breath for me,” the dispatcher said. “I know you’re scared.”
“They said they need something to warm her up,” the woman said.
“OK is she starting to get cold? Is that what she’s saying?” the dispatcher asked.
“I think so,” the woman replied.
The boaters waited on the wrecked vessel resting up against the jetty until rescue crews arrived on the scene.
“Oh, my God,” the woman said. “I can’t believe this happened. I’m so scared.”
Fortunately, all four people on that boat survived the crash.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have not released the findings of their investigation into the crash.
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