Entries in Boat (14)


Boat Explosion at a Maryland Marina Injures Six Children

iStockphoto(EDGEWATER, Md.) -- Several people were injured, including children, in an explosion Monday afternoon at a Maryland marina.

The 32-foot well-craft vessel with twin engines had just pulled away from the dock at Oak Grove Marina on the South river in Maryland where it had been fueling when the explosion happened.  just before noon.

There were nine passengers on board the vessel, including six children. Two of the children, a boy and a girl both 9 years old, were taken to Bayview Burn Center. Three other children were taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center the last one was taken to Johns Hopkins Pediatrics.

The three adults on board refused medical treatment.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the explosion.

“Usually it's an accumulation of fumes, gas fumes in the bilge area of a vessel,” said Sgt. Brian Albert with the Maryland Natural Resources Police. “And, they just refueled so that's what leads me to believe that that's a possibility that this happened at this time.”

Albert said the explosion and damage did not spread beyond the one boat.

“It was contained to the one vessel,” he said. “They were not right at the fueling dock when the explosion took place. They were out and away from the dock.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Brothers Rely on Cooler to Survive Boat Capsizing

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A pair of Florida boaters are alive today after clinging to parts of a cooler for nearly seven hours when their fishing boat capsized off the coast of Miami.

George Verdecia, 29, and his older brother, who was not named, left for a fishing trip late Monday night but only made it about three miles off the shores of Key Biscayne, Fla., before their 12-foot vessel capsized at around 2:30 a.m., according to Coast Guard authorities.

Choppy water and high waves swamped the boat and caused it to capsize, Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Abeyta, commanding officer of the Miami Beach Coast Guard station, told ABC News.

The brothers had lifejackets on board, but had them stored beneath the boat’s seats.  When the boat capsized, the only thing that popped to the surface was a cooler.  Verdecia grabbed the lid while his brother grabbed the cooler’s base, according to Abeyta, and both held on, unable to fight the strong current.  The two floated all night long and drifted apart.

Verdecia’s brother made it to shore around 9:30 a.m. Monday and was spotted by a woman walking on the beach who immediately called 911.  Authorities contacted Abeyta’s Coast Guard officers who were preparing to depart on a training mission and instead diverted their resources to search for Verdecia.

“We launched all available assets to respond because the brother stated that his brother [Verdecia] was still out there hanging on to the lid of the cooler,” Abeyta said.  “He was a half mile from shore but the current was preventing him from making it to shore.”

The woman who called 911 could see Verdecia from the shore so she directed Abeyta and his officers on the Coast Guard boat to his location, where they pulled Verdecia to safety, less than 20 minutes from when they first got the call.

“When he came on board our vessel he was physically exhausted and showing early onset of hypothermia,” Abeyta said.  “He was barely hanging on to the lid of the cooler.  That was basically what saved his life, the lid of the cooler.”

Both Verdecia, who complained of a back injury, and his brother were taken to nearby Mercy Hospital.  They were both released Monday afternoon after observation with non-life threatening injuries, according to Abeyta.

Abeyta says the brothers’ harrowing tale of survival is a reminder of the importance of wearing life jackets and having an emergency plan in place when in the water.

“Life jackets don’t work if you’re not wearing them,” he said.  “And you have to always file a flow plan.  If they’d told someone to expect them at, say, 6 o’clock in the morning and were aware they didn’t arrive, we could have gotten to them a lot earlier.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Florida Dive-Boat Mishap Leaves Woman Dead

ABC(MIAMI) -- A vacationing dive-boat passenger died after a rogue wave capsized a catamaran Thursday, tossing 21 passengers and two crew members into the ocean off the coast of Pompano Beach, Fla.

The 45-foot boat capsized Thanksgiving Day afternoon as it approached Hillsboro Inlet when, witnesses say, a large wave came out of nowhere and flipped the boat over. Passengers managed to climb out of the water and onto the overturned hull until help arrived.

But Nina Poppelsdorf, 54, died after being pinned underneath the capsized catamaran, investigators said.

Three other passengers were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries and later released, ABC News affiliate WPLG-TV reported.

Pompano Beach Fire Rescue was notified around 1 p.m. about the incident when the Coral Princess was hit by a rough wave after a Thanksgiving Day dive trip. First responders arrived on the scene in minutes where they found the catamaran "in pieces, upside down in the water," agency spokeswoman Sandra King said.

As beach goers called 911, nearby boaters raced toward the accident, pulling people onto wave runners and rescue boats.

"Chaos. Just people in the water. Just unbelievable," one eyewitness said.

Surviving passengers began gathering on the beach to make sure everyone was accounted for.

"We kept hearing back and forth, just trying to get a head count on everybody, and they were missing one," eyewitness Greg Oars said.

King of fire rescue said, "During the rescue, it got pretty dicey and scary because we were told there were more people. There may be people missing."


Divers pulled Poppelsdorf out of the water and began to perform CPR. Poppelsdorf, who was visiting South Florida from New Mexico with her nephew, was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to WPLG. The Broward County Medical Examiner will determine the cause of her death.

Investigators worked through the night to question the survivors about what happened in the moments before the wave hit the catamaran.

"[The] wave caught it from behind and it flipped as [the captain] was coming in the harbor," an unidentified passenger told ABC News. "He was trying to time it. He didn't time it right and then it just flipped."

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the accident but they say the catamaran did not appear to be over capacity.

"Right now, it looks like this is a tragic accident," Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella said. "What started out as a gorgeous day on the water for 23 people ended in tragedy."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Captain of Capsized Boat in NY Blames Wave

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(OYSTER BAY, N.Y.) -- A yacht that capsized on the Fourth of July, tossing 27 passengers into the waters off New York's Long Island and killed three children, was hit by a wave, the boat's captain said Thursday.

"We're coming home and a wave got us and it turned the boat around," Sal Aureliano, the boat's operator, whose nephew was one of the children killed, said Thursday. "It just turned the boat and everyone was in the water and chaos."

The Candi I, a 34-foot Silverton vessel, had been out on the water so that family and friends could watch a fireworks display.

The boat capsized a little after 10 p.m. near Oyster Bay as a result of weather and a wake from another vessel on the water, said Nassau County Police Inspector Kenneth Lack.

"It was a lot of people in the water," Lack said. "It was a tremendous response by multiple agencies. Most of the people were taken into other crafts very quickly."

Three children in the boat's cabin -- David Aureliano, 12, and two girls, Harley Treanor, 11, and Victoria Gaines, 8 -- were killed.

The first victim was found in the water shortly after the distress call came in. Divers located the two others in the vessel hours after it sank, Lack said early Thursday morning.

Danielle Barbone tried to save as many people as she could, including the mother of one of the girls killed.

"We just started plucking them out like ants. Just one, two, three -- whoever we could get on," she told ABC News affiliate WABC. "There was a grandmother. She was floating. She couldn't swim. There was no life vests on the boat."

She said one child's mother was screaming her daughter's name.

"It was a very bad night for everybody," Barbone said.

Richard Valicenti, owner and president of Bridge Marine Sales & Marina, said Thursday that a 34-foot boat with 27 people aboard was "overpopulated."

Valicenti said that large wakes could be formed when a large number of boats left the bay at the same time.

"That means you've got waves rolling in from every direction," said Valicenti, who has spent more than 40 years on Oyster Bay. "It's hard to maneuver your boat if you're not prepared. It can rock pretty severely."

Authorities said Thursday that until they could recover the yacht, which is now under 60 feet of water, they could not determine the cause of the accident. WABC said the boat was owned by Kevin Treanor, who was aboard the yacht at the time, according to his lawyer. His relationship to Harley Treanor was not known.

"The boat could have sunk for many reasons," said Nassau County Detective Lt. John Azzata at a news conference Thursday. "It could be overcrowding. It could be mechanical malfunction, It could be a wake created by another boat."

Two 25-foot rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station Eaton's Neck, along with rescue teams from the Nassau County Police Department, Oyster Bay Constable, Tow Boat U.S., and several local fire departments aided in the rescue efforts, according to a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Witnesses say they saw adults and children in the water and did what they could to help, including throwing life jackets and life preservers in the water.

Investigators said they don't believe alcohol played a role in the accident, but they did say there were not enough life vests for everyone onboard the boat.

According to state law, children 12 and younger must wear life jackets when they are on the deck but not when they are inside the cabin.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


LISTEN: NJ Yacht Explosion Hoax Distress Call Released

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Coast Guard has released audio recordings of the distress call made by a man claiming to be the captain of a yacht that had exploded off the coast of Sandy Hook, N.J. The call prompted the costly deployment of over 200 responders and a fleet of helicopters and boats into the Atlantic Ocean, before it proved to be a hoax.

In an early transmission, the man calmly told the Coast Guard, "We have three deceased, nine injured. We've had an explosion on-board that's why we're taking on water. I'm in about three-and-a-half feet of water on the bridge right now."

In an ensuing dispatch, the man contradicted his earlier transmission by saying, "We have 21 souls on-board, 20 in the water right now." He added, "I'm going to stay on the radio for as long as I can before I have to go overboard."

The recording contained five separate transmissions totaling almost a minute and a half.

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He also said that everyone had life jackets and that distress beacons were on-board.

The caller displayed some basic nautical knowledge, saying that his electronic communications array was down, which is why he called via solar radio. He also had fairly precise coordinates for their location, saying they were 17.5 miles east of Sandy Hook.

The last transmission cuts off ominously, with the caller saying "I'm dealing with 2nd and 3rd degree…" He was presumably speaking about burns suffered by the supposed victims of the explosion.

The U.S. Coast Guard has launched an investigation into a yacht explosion hoax call made by the realistic-sounding "captain."

The prankster faces a maximum of five to 10 years in prison for the federal crime, a $250,000 fine and a reimbursement to the government for the cost of the search.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Yacht Explosion Off New Jersey Coast

Eric Pearle/Getty Images(SANDY HOOK, N.J.) -- The Coast Guard is responding to a reported yacht explosion in the Atlantic Ocean about 17.5 miles east of Sandy Hook, N.J., where at least nine passengers have been injured.

The Coast Guard has declared a mass casualty incident and has requested multiple helicopters to assist with rescue.

Nine people have been reported to have second and third degree burns, and 21 people were on board.

The Coast Guard was notified at 4:20 p.m. of an explosion on board the yacht, the Blind Date, according to ABC News affiliate WABC-TV. Passengers reported that they had suffered "some kind of explosion on the boat," according to the United States Coast Guard. Authorities do not know the cause or scale of the explosion.

All of the boat's passengers were forced to abandon ship and are in life rafts. All of the passengers have been accounted for.

A private boat, the Erica, was nearby and is on-scene helping the victims while they wait for the Coast Guard to arrive. Two New York Police Department helicopters have responded to the scene. Two medevac landing zones are being set up on Sandy Hook and nearby Atlantic Highlands for ambulances to meet.

Developing story...

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Capsized Boat: Search Resumes for Fourth Body off California Coast

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) -- The Coast Guard has recovered the bodies of three men whose boat apparently capsized during a daylong fishing trip off the coast of southern California. They are still trying to retrieve the body of a fourth man.

The bodies were found by Coast Guard helicopters Sunday floating near a capsized boat off Santa Cruz Island, near Santa Barbara.  Coast Guard authorities said the boat was spotted about 20 miles away from the Channel Islands Harbor where the men had left for their trip Saturday morning.

One body was still on the boat, two others were floating nearby in the water.  Those bodies were recovered.

A fourth body was spotted five miles from the boat, but nightfall and choppy waves forced the Coast Guard to end its effort Sunday night.  The effort to retrieve the body will resume on Monday.

The men’s identities have not been released.

Coast Guard Lt. George Kolumbic said a search was launched after a relative of one of the men reported that they had failed to return from their fishing trip aboard the 24-foot boat.

It was the second Coast Guard search this weekend to end badly.  A search off the coast of Washington state for four men whose commercial ship suddenly disappeared without even a Mayday distress call was ended Sunday.

The Coast Guard said the four men are presumed dead given the length of time they’ve been missing and the temperature of the water, said to be around 40 degrees.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Boat Explodes in Washington Harbor, Injuring Man

Photo by John Santucci(SEQUIM, Wash.) -- A 40-foot boat docked in Sequim, Wash., exploded Tuesday evening, seriously injuring one man on board.

Fire officials from Clallam County described the blast as powerful enough to scatter debris across 75 yards and knock the unidentified 78-year-old man into the water.

A couple on a nearby boat were initially knocked to the ground by the explosion. After evacuating their boat, the couple spotted the injured man underneath debris and pulled him to safety. He was taken to Port Angeles hospital Tuesday night, suffering from broken bones and burns.

Fire officials say the cause of the explosion is currently unknown. The Coast Guard has sent a team to investigate the incident.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


One Dead, Seven Rescued in Florida after Treading Water for 20 Hours

U.S. Coast Guard(MARATHON, Fla.) -- After treading water for about 20 hours, seven people who lost their boat off the Florida Keys were rescued Sunday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

An eighth person on board, an 80-year-old woman, drowned.

According to the USCG, the group's boat sank shortly after noon on Saturday.  Three of the seven survivors were pulled out of the water by a good Samaritan.  The remaining four, which included a 4-year-old girl, were rescued by the Coast Guard near Marathon, Florida.

The Orlando Sentinel said the girl had mild hypothermia but no other medical problems, besides exhaustion, was reported among the other survivors.  The USCG noted that some of the passengers had not been wearing life jackets.

It is not yet known what caused the boat to sink.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Chicago Woman Mary Kovats Commandeers Boat and Saves Capsized Husband's Life

Thinkstock Images/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Rear Commodore Mary Kovats commandeered a ship at the harbor and headed into cold and rocky waters on a rescue mission. Three men had gone missing from their boat during a storm, and Kovats was determined to find them, according to reports.

It may sound like the plot of an adventure movie, but on Wednesday night Kovats reportedly headed out onto Lake Michigan in Chicago to find her husband and his two friends after a severe thunderstorm.

The trio had taken a 19-foot sailboat named "The Peter Pan" out for a ride at about 5 p.m. to celebrate Peter Kovats' 62nd birthday, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Mary Kovats told the Tribune that when she still hadn't heard from the men by 8 p.m, she began to get worried. The school teacher and rear commodore of the Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club decided to head out onto the water and find them herself.

She boarded a power boat with two other yacht club members in Montrose Harbor and set out in search of her husband, ABC News affiliate WLS in Chicago reported.

About a half mile from shore, according to reports, she found all three men and their capsized boat bobbing in the water.

With the help of the two fellow yacht clubbers she recruited from the harbor, Kovats pulled the three men, also yacht club members, from the murky water and onto her boat and brought them back to land, according to WLS.

Once they made it to safety, Kovats used her marine radio to call the police for help.

Fire department spokesman Larry Langford said the men had likely been in the 30- to-40-degree waters for about 45 minutes. They were all found conscious, but suffering from hypothermia and having trouble communicating.

All three men were taken to the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

Mary Kovats' husband, Peter Kovats, is still in the intensive care unit, said Noreen Keeney, director of public affairs at the Medical Center, but she added he's doing much better. The other two men, including Tenuta, were treated and released from the hospital, Keeney said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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