Charges could be filed after a 45-foot catamaran sank near the Miami Seaquarium on Sunday night.
Thirty people and one dog were rescued. No serious injuries were reported. It's unclear what caused the catamaran to sink.
"The boat started to lean to the left and then all my stuff just went down with it," said Jonathan Chan, who worked as the catamaran's DJ. "We didn't have time to get lifejackets. We all went to the water and that's when we got out lifejackets. They just started throwing out lifejackets to people."
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating whether the catamaran had too many people on board and whether there were enough lifejackets, said spokesman Jorge Pino.
"The captain apparently didn't even know how many people he had on board the vessel," said Pino. "And I say 'captain,' that's a very loose term. It was the person in charge of the vessel."
Pino said the captain, 50-year-old Otho Campbell, was charging $20 a person to shuttle passengers from Brickell Key to Nixon Beach.
"You're not allowed to charge anyone any money and transport people from point A to point B if you're not a licensed captain," said Pino. "We're also looking into whether he was careless or potentially even reckless in the decision making to have this many people on board the vessel."
Charges against Campbell are pending the investigation.
"It's a miracle that nobody died," added Pino.