December 30th, 2011 - by DKRPA
Florida is a popular tourist destination with miles of beaches and scenic ocean views. There is also an extremely active boating community that offers tourists the chance to sail the Atlantic or go scuba diving off the Keys. With all the opportunities available and in the midst of enjoying a vacation, one of the last things on a tourist’s mind is possible negligence on the part of a local business.
A group of eight people were out on a commercial scuba vessel in the Florida Keys and had just completed one of two planned scuba diving sessions when the boat suddenly and unexpectedly sank. Six of the boats passengers were rescued without harm. Unfortunately though, a 36-year-old woman drowned and another man was taken to the hospital in critical condition after the two were trapped inside the boat’s cabin.
The boat’s captain tried to rescue them from the sinking vessel, but the 36-year-old woman died after CPR administered by emergency responders could not resuscitate her. Questions remain as to why the pair was unable to escape the cabin. Local authorities are investigating the matter and did not mention negligence on the part of the owners of the charter boat company.
However, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission did not know why the boat suddenly sank. “Right now it’s a mystery why it sank, with more questions than answers,” he said. The spokesman also revealed that witnesses of the incident said it only took “about two minutes” for the boat to sink.
Weather may have played a factor in the sinking of the vessel, as winds reached 15 miles per hour and the sea became choppy.
Source: Miami Herald, “One dead, seven saved on sinking charter boat in Upper Keys,” Cammy Clark and Sarah Elder, Dec. 19, 2011