An elderly woman died and seven other people were rescued after their boat capsized in the Florida Keys last weekend. The 8 people were on a 22-foot pleasure craft and were out on a fishing trip, when a large wave swamped their boat.
Three of the men, who could not swim and were not wearing personal flotation devices, held on to the side of the capsized boat. The women hung on to a cooler and placed the child also on top of the cooler. The women were wearing personal protection gear. The group remained like this for hours from Saturday noon till Sunday morning until help finally arrived.
One of the men held on to his seventy-nine-year-old mother for as long as possible, but unfortunately, she was swept away by the currents and drowned. She was not wearing a personal flotation device either.
The group of men was rescued by a fisherman on a charter fishing boat, who helped the three men into his boat. The women were found by the Coast Guard. The survivors were taken to a local hospital, and were treated for nonlife threatening injuries, including jellyfish stings, hypothermia and exhaustion.
According to the boaters, they had set out on Saturday morning for a day of pleasure fishing. A large wave rocked the boat, destroying electrical equipment. The boat capsized within minutes, throwing the boaters into the water.
If there was only one lesson that maritime attorneys would recommend you take away from this post, it would be this – always wear personal flotation devices while in a boat. This particular boat did not even have enough personal flotation devices for everyone on board. Besides, the Coast Guard is will also be investigating why there were eight people on a small boat.