FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A 23-year-old scuba diver has been injured after he was struck by a boat’s propeller.
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue transported the diver to Broward Health Medical Center, Wednesday, after he suffered injuries to his back and shoulders.
Paramedics said the diver’s injuries were not life-threatening, and he was conscious and alert while being transported.
The diver was surfacing from approximately 70 feet of water about a mile offshore from Hollywood Beach when he was struck by the boat.
Significant damage was done to the diving gear from the impact, including the oxygen tank and breathing apparatus.
“He was hit by a prop. Fortunately, he had another vessel or a boat that was there with him with his friends on board. He was diving with a buddy,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Chief Stephen Gollan. “They were able to get him in the boat and help him out, and they were able to bring him on shore also, notifying us so that we could make contact and have units waiting on land for him.”
Coast Guard officials and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are still investigating what happened and have questioned two men in relation to the incident.
Initially, officials said the incident was a possible hit and run during which a boat didn’t stop to render aid, but now he cause of the collision has yet to be determined.
Investigators noted a boat of interest that was said to have left the scene of the incident heading southbound; it was described as a white, 40- to 60-foot sports fisherman boat with a black bottom.
“We are actively searching for a vessel that may have been involved,” said FWC Officer Tyson Matthews.
When asked if it’s normal for a boat of that size to go missing in the middle of the water, Matthews said, “I can’t really say if it’s normal, but it does happen.”
The case remains an open investigation.
“Right now, we’re looking at everything. You can call it whatever you want, but we’re looking to find out exactly what happened,” said Matthews.
Meanwhile, the 23-year-old remains in the hospital in stable condition.
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