FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – One person has died after a boat capsized near Fort Lauderdale Wednesday evening.READ MORE: Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Targeting Fentanyl, Meth Dealers
According to Jorge Pino, with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, 76-year-old German Diaz died as a result of the incident.
Pino said a series of errors lead to the tragedy.
“We’re working under the assumption that these individuals made the decision to go out fishing on a very small vessel, 16-foot vessel, five people on board, they went out approximately a mile and a half or so off the coast of Broward County. The weather was not ideal for them to going out in the first place, but the weather turned even worse while they were out there. There was a large wave that came and swamped the vessel.”
Four out of the five people managed to climb on top of the vessel but Diaz, FWC said, was caught underneath the vessel.
The vessel capsized one mile off the coast of Rio Mar Street and A1A with five people on board at the time.
Fort Lauderdale Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Heiser said a 911 call came in around 8:30 pm reporting the overturned boat.
“There were four souls clinging to the boat at the time it was located all wearing life jackets,” Heiser said. “It was reported that one person was missing.”READ MORE: Affordable Housing Art Deco Style In Little Havana
Heiser said highly trained rescue divers went into the ocean water and searched for the missing man.
“Initially they checked right under the boat to see if he was there and they started to search — with underneath being their starting point — and they found the victim shortly thereafter,” Heiser said.
Heiser said that in the dark it’s disorienting and time is critical for rescuers as they try to save lives.
“The water’s cold and the water’s rough and you get tired and you can only hold on to a boat for so long,” he said. “Even with a life vest on if you separate from the boat it’s very difficult to find someone who breaks away from the vessel.”
A person on board the capsized boat was able to call 911 and helped to guide the Broward Sheriff’s Office helicopter to the vessel.
FWC is handling the investigation.Residents Living Near Sharp Curve Along NW 87 Terrace Fed Up With Constant Crashes