Boat operator arrested a month after fatal crash in Haulover Inlet

Dean Michael Sealey of Pompano Beach faces a charge of failing to stop after a vessel-related homicide/DUI manslaughter in connection with the Sept. 17 boat crash in Baker’s Haulover Inlet that killed 27-year-old Zach Forte.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A man who was allegedly operating a boat when it crashed last month, killing one passenger, in Baker’s Haulover Inlet has been arrested.

A warrant was issued for Dean Michael Sealey’s arrest last Tuesday and the 53-year-old from Pompano Beach was taken into custody the following day after allegedly causing a disturbance at the Royal Beach Palace Hotel on North Ocean Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

According to his arrest report, Sealey was in a “drunken stupor” Tuesday while at the hotel and broke a computer inside the business center, and threw a remote control at a large TV after sitting at a bar inside the hotel.

Fort Lauderdale police said Sealey tried to strike the bartender when he was confronted and had to be restrained by the bartender and a manager until police arrived.

Records show Sealey faces multiple charges in connection with that incident, including disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.

He also faces charges of vehicle homicide, boating under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident in connection with the Sept. 17 boat crash that killed 27-year-old Zach Forte, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Zach Forte. (WPLG)

Forte’s body was discovered after a massive search involving the U.S. Coast Guard, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

Dustin Wolf, one of Forte’s friends, said he was from Connecticut and he had recently moved to South Florida after living in North Carolina.

“I love that kid. He was always looking out for other people,” Wolf said.

Investigators believe Forte was thrown into the water after the impact of the early morning crash in the Haulover sandbar area. The search for Forte’s body took more than 12 hours.

Sealey is being held on a $600,000 bond.

About the Authors:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for