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13 people rescued after boat begins sinking off Pompano Beach

13 rescued after dive boat sinks off Pompano Beach
13 rescued after dive boat sinks off Pompano Beach

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – A boat in the waters off Pompano Beach began taking on water Sunday, and it had more than a dozen people onboard.

Luckily for those 13 people, everyone was able to get to safety.

Frank Frione told Local 10 News that he and his friends spotted the dive boat going down just before 4 p.m. Sunday near the Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach.

“We approached it (and) realized it was sinking -- half the boat (was) under water,” Frione said.

Frione said the boat with “Safari Diver” written on the side started to lean in a matter of minutes, forcing the passengers to jump.

The last person on the dive boat can be seen on cellphone video standing on the hull before he jumps.

“That’s when we realized things are getting out of control, people are jumping off the boat, the captain is on the boat -- he jumped off,” Frione said. “It was just a very scary, frightening thing because there are children onboard the ship too.”

The children and adults were trying to keep their heads above water as Frione and his friends rushed over to help them.

“We rescued one diver,” he said.

Nearby boaters also rushed over to help and the others were also pulled to safety.

Coast Guard officials said they are still trying to figure out what caused the boat to sink, however, a witness told Local 10 News the boat ran over its anchor line, which brought it under water.

“The hook got caught and was pulling the boat down,” one man said.

According to Sea Tow, the dive boat sank in a minute and is now 70 feet under water. The boat will not be recovered.

About the Authors:

Parker Branton joined Local 10 News in January 2019 as a reporter. He was born and raised in Rome, Georgia, but now loves living on the sunny beaches of South Florida.

Joseph Ojo joined Local 10 in April 2021. Born and raised in New York City, he previously worked in Buffalo, North Dakota, Fort Myers and Baltimore.