A holiday diving trip turned deadly for a group of tourists on Thursday when their boat capsized off Florida’s Atlantic coast, throwing all 23 people on board into the ocean.
According to KWTX, the 45-foot catamaran Coral Princess capsized early Thursday afternoon after being struck by a rouge wave off the coast of Pampano Beach, Florida.
Witnesses told Fox News the boat was approaching the Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach when a wave 8 to 10 feet high came in and “surprised them.”
While the majority of the passengers — 21 tourists plus two crew members — were able to climb onto the hull of the overturned ship until help arrived, one woman, Nina Poppelsdorf, of Sandia Park, New Mexico, got stuck under the vessel and drowned. Upon their arrival, rescue workers tried to resuscitate Poppelsdorf but were unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead a nearby hospital.
ABC News11 reports Poppelsdorf, 54, was in Florida with her nephew, who is from Pennsylvania, just for the dive trip.
“They just went on this fun trip together to just do dives,” Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella said. “So this is especially tragic that it was on Thanksgiving and it ended in tragedy.”
Besides Ms. Poppelsdorf, three others passengers were also transported to hospitals for treatment but are reported to be alright.
CBS Miami reports the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is questioning passengers and taking their information and that the accident is still under investigation at this time.
For more information on the tragic Pompano Beach, Florida diving boat accident, watch the video below: