JUPITER, Fla. (WSVN) – A blunder for a drawbridge operator made waves for a captain and those on board a boat who jumped to safety in the nick of time.
Cellphone video shows the frightening situation some boaters found themselves in back in March, when a drawbridge operator in Jupiter raised the bridge, partially crushing a boat underneath.
“Oh, my God! Oh, [expletive]! Get ’em out! Get out!” said a witness heard on the video.
The boaters thought it was safe to go underneath a bridge, but when they realized that was not to be the case, they jumped overboard.
“I think that’s pretty crazy, I’ve never seen it, personally. Like, honestly, if I were on the boat, I would be scared,” said a man.
People who like to catch some sun near the drawbridge said they’ve seen the video on social media, and they are shocked.
“It’s actually very terrifying, ’cause I was like, ‘Oh, that’s funny,’ and then no, it’s actually really terrifying and dangerous,” said Mary Grace Reed.
It appeared the boat stopped under that portion of the bridge to take cover during heavy rain, and instead of going under the bridge in the main channel, the boat passed under the bridge closer to the edge of the Intracoastal Waterway, where there are signs that clearly say “Unauthorized personnel prohibited,” “Danger moving machinery” and “No trespassing, violators will be prosecuted.”
A bridge tender who identified himself as Randy spoke out on the incident.
When asked how something like this could happen, he replied, “I can’t. I wasn’t here. I don’t have any idea how it happened.”
People nearby realized how lucky the passengers on the boat were to escape with their lives.
“Luckily they jumped off, but luckily they got off safely and didn’t get crushed by the thing,” said Gabriella Cutchins.
A Palm Beach County spokesperson said the bridge tender was unaware that the boat was underneath the bridge.
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