MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A would be boat thief had a sinking feeling after he tried to steal a yacht from the Miami Beach Marina.
The 80-foot Hatteras pulled into the marina around 11:30 p.m. Sunday. After the captain stepped off the vessel, a man jumped in and tried to take off.
Jimmy Terry, who was sleeping in one of the boats docked at the marina, heard the commotion and got up to see what was going on.
“It was going forwards and backwards and he was going bananas trying to get out,” said Terry.
“You heard the engine rev all the way up and he hit it forward front on first,” said Anfornee Rolle. “Then he reversed and turned around, he backed up into it. He hit the docks, he hit people’s boats.”
Terry said the reason the man had so much trouble steering the big boat was because one of the engines has lost power.
“I started screaming ‘help, help, help anybody help’ because the guy was going crazy. The guy was a freakin’ lunatic. I just thank God he didn’t crash into my boat, really, I mean I got damage but not as much as there could have been. My life was in jeopardy,” said Terry.
The collisions caused a rupture in the $3.2 million yacht’s hull and it partially sank.
When a Miami Fire Rescue boat arrived, the man jumped overboard and swam away. A police dive team and a Coast Guard crew were unable to find him.
A dawn’s first light police discovered a second theft attempt of a yacht docked at the marina. It too was partially sunk.
Police have not said if the two theft attempts are related.
Much of the stolen yacht’s maritime mayhem was captured on cell phone video by boater Chris Miller, who lives aboard his cabin cruiser at the Marina.
On the video, you can hear the yacht crashing into other boats and pilings.
“Oh no, he’s going to destroy boats,” Miller can be heard exclaiming as he shoots the video. “Oh, my gosh!”
The FWC said Monday afternoon that ten vessels were damaged.
The Mimi, the FWC’s Robert Dube said, is 75 percent submerged and leaking fuel. There will be no effort to upright the vessel or move it until it is clear what if any impact hurricane Matthew has on South Florida.