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4 rescued after vessel capsizes off Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

4 rescued after vessel capsizes off Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
4 rescued after vessel capsizes off Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A fishing trip turned dangerous for four people who survived at sea after their boat capsized on Tuesday off Broward County.

First, the boat’s anchor line got twisted around the propeller.

“We were trying to pull the anchor and we couldn’t pull it, and then it got tied into the motor,” Sandra Foo-Lowe said.

Then a large wave struck the 17-foot boat. Eventually, another wave turned the vessel upside down near Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale.

“A lot of water was going into the boat, so the boat capsized,” Marciano Rios said.

Rios’ father got pulled under and nearly drowned.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan said they were able to survive because they had a working cell phone and life vests.

“Thankfully they were able to get one 911 call off before the boat sank,” Gollan said.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue and Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue boats responded. The ping from the cell phone helped rescuers to find them.

“If this would have taken place at night, this would have been more of a challenging rescue for us,” Gollan said.

As soon as they made it to shore, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue personnel rushed Rios’ father to the hospital. A sea tow service recovered their boat. Foo-Lowe was even able to recover a cooler that had her snacks and the only fish she caught during the trip.

LOCATION


About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.