Woman Dies After Rogue Wave Capsizes Dive Boat
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POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – A woman died after a dive boat capsized near the Hillsboro Inlet Thursday afternoon.
Nina Poppelsdorf, 41, died when the 45-foot Coral Princess catamaran dive boat was slammed by a rogue wave, causing the boat to capsize. Poppelsdorf was visiting South Florida from New Mexico with her nephew.
The boat was returning from a dive trip with 23 people on board: 21 divers and 2 crew members.
Authorities said there were numerous rescues between Pompano Beach Ocean Rescue, BSO, and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
Four people, including Poppelsdorf, were transported to Broward Health North by Pompano Beach Fire Rescue. The other three were treated and released, while others on the boat had minor injuries.
Greg Oars, who witnessed the accident, said he noticed the chaos.
“There was just a bunch of debris in the water…other boats were picking up other people,” Oars told CBS4’s Joan Murray.
Pompano Beach Fire Rescue transported a few of the people to the beach via wave runners.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is questioning passengers and taking their information, sharing it with BSO.
The Coral Princess is registered to South Florida Diving Headquarters in Pompano Beach. According to the company’s website, the dive boat is a custom-built glass-bottom catamaran used for divers, snorkels, or those who just want to watch from above.
The website states the boat has a capacity of 35 divers or 49 passengers. CBS4 called South Florida Diving, but the person taking the call would neither comment nor confirm whether its boat was involved.