FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A 50th birthday party celebration for out-of-town visitors at a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale took a dangerous and unexpected turn when a portion of the dock they were standing on suddenly gave way, leaving two people with minor injuries.
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue units responded to the scene of the partial collapse at Flip Flops Dockside Eatery along the 3000 block of Northeast 32nd Avenue, near Oakland Park Boulevard and the Intracoastal Waterway, at around 5 p.m., Friday.
The people who went into the water were visitors from Virginia who were celebrating a 50th birthday party. The honoree was Karey Gore.
Guest Keira Anderson said they were all enjoying the view of the Intracoastal when part of the restaurant’s patio area suddenly collapsed.
“We were here all afternoon, we had so much fun. We just happened to be in the wrong place and standing there, and it gave way,” she said. “I’ve never been in a situation like that, and it just collapsed.”
With that, Gore’s birthday party was over.
“It broke, and three of us jumped off,” said Anderson.
Initially, two of the guests tumbled into the water and were unable to get out.
“[A guest] slid in, and then her husband slid in after her,” said Anderson.
Guest Mike Gore said he dove in to assist the couple.
“I jumped in, got them out of the water,” he said.
“This man saved two people. He saved my best friend and her husband,” said Karey Gore.
Mike Gore said he helped the couple swim under the dock to a nearby boat rather than try to climb up the wooden pilings, leaving himself cut and bruised in the process.
Pictures taken by FLFR firefighters show the section of the wooden dock that collapsed.
The section that gave way is approximately 10 feet long.
Mike Gore and the woman who went into the water first were treated at the scene for minor injuries. The woman was later transported to Holy Cross Health for treatment of a superficial cut on her back.
“It was really scary to see her slide into the water and go under,” said Anderson, “and it took them a while to pull her out, and sadly, her vaccine card fell out, and all I could do was scream, ‘Get your vaccine card!'”
Flip Flops, which is located right next to the popular Shooters Waterfront restaurant, remained closed for the rest of the evening.
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