POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A sinking boat off Pompano Beach led to moments of panic in the water for a group of divers, but fortunately, good Samaritans aboard a charter boat and other vessels came to the rescue.
Speaking to 7News on the phone, Shannon Stuckey said she was a guest on a charter fishing boat on Sunday afternoon.
“We just wanted to go fishing, so we’re fishing and catching seaweed, OK? It was like the worst day ever,” she said.
All of a sudden, the vessel received mayday calls, prompting the captain of the charter boat to turn around.
“He does a turn, and so we look, and I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. That dive boat is going under,'” said Stuckey.
That’s when, Stuckey said, she spotted the divers in the water.
“I’m starting to count people, and I’ve got six divers. I’ve got a guy that is obviously captain of the boat, divemaster, but I don’t see help or anyone else,” she said.
People on surrounding boats tossed life jackets into the water.
Cellphone video captured the moments just before the divers were pulled to safety.
“Is there anybody else under the water? Everyone’s accounted for? Awesome,” Stuckey is heard saying as she spoke to the divers.
Within a few minutes, the divers’ boat, Safari Diver, plunged down about 100 feet.
“Yep, there it goes. Goodbye, boat,” a man is heard saying in the cellphone video.
The divers made their way to nearby boats: one on Stuckey’s charter and the others on a nearby dive boat.
“Obviously, this needs to go live and to WSVN, I think. Check it out, They are such heroes,” said Stuckey in the cellphone video. “I wish I had a blow horn, ’cause I would have gone ‘whoop, whoop’ to Aqualife Divers.”
As for what caused Safari Diver to sink, that has raised a lot of questions.
The diver on Stuckey’s charter believes he knows what happened.
“What happened? How’d you guys take on water?” a man asked the diver on board the charter boat.
“The hook got caught and was pulling the boat down,” said the diver.
Stuckey said boating safety is paramount, and a situation like this is a good reminder of how quickly things can go south on the water.
“You need to know good safety is first. Where is your jackets? It’s something we can all get complacent about,” she said.
There were no known injuries reported.
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