Cellphone video captures boat speeding in no-wake zone, causing damage to docked vessels

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Cellphone video captured a yacht speeding through a no-wake zone and causing damage to nearby vessels docked in Fort Lauderdale.

The incident happened along the Intracoastal Waterway, next to the Commercial Boulevard drawbridge, Sunday.

Jeremy Rafferty’s video captured the vessel speeding through the no-wake zone to beat the drawbridge before it closed.

“I was sitting on the dock doing my job,” Rafferty said. “I just heard the big diesel engine going, and I go, ‘Aw, that’s not good,’ and I already knew it was going to do a four-foot wake.”

Rafferty works at a nearby waterfront restaurant to tie up boats to its dock.

The wake the vessel created caused cleats to be pulled from the dock, crushed some deck boards and shattered a glass wind shield of one of the stationary boats.

Rafferty could be heard in the video warning others to stay back as their vessels rocked violently from the wake.

“Don’t even try. Don’t try,” Rafferty said in the video.

“I knew there’s nothing you could do with the boats because you can get hurt like that one guy did,” he added referring to another cellphone video that shows a man trying to protect his boat. His foot got pinned against the restaurant’s dock.

“He tried to hold it off with his leg, and I think his leg got … was in between the boat and just smooshed it,” Rafferty said.

Shane Sultan’s boat was also tied and damaged in the wake, and he did not hesitate to chase the driver down.

“I jumped on the boat, and I proceeded to follow the guy down,” Sultan said.

Sultan said he followed the boat and called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Meanwhile, those on shore that day have one message for the driver who sped through the no-wake zone.

“Don’t drive a boat if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Rafferty said.

It remains unclear if anyone caught up with the driver of the boat.

FWC said they are aware of the incident, and that could mean charges for the driver of the boat.

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