What should have been a leisurely day spent enjoying the sun and surf turned tragic for a group of tourists yesterday, as their dive boat capsized off the coast of Pompano Beach, Florida -- throwing all 21 of them plus two crew members into the sea.
Witnesses say that the incident happened all of a sudden, as a large wave hit the 45-foot Coral Princess and caused the catamaran to flip over.
And while most of the passengers were able to climb onto the hull of the overturned ship until help arrived, a 54-year-old woman, Nina Poppelsdorf, was killed after being trapped under the boat. (Just horrible.)
Reports indicate that three other people were taken to the hospital, but have since been released.
Eyewitnesses who saw the boat capsize immediately sprang into action, as nearby boats sped over to help, and beach goers called 911.
One onlooker describes the scene as, "Chaos. Just people in the water. Just unbelievable."
And another gave a bit more detail as to what exactly happened by saying, "The wave caught it from behind and it flipped as [the captain] was coming in the harbor. He was trying to time it. He didn't time it right and then it just flipped."
Um, the boat was coming into the harbor?!? That alone makes the accident so much scarier, because of all places, you wouldn't think that the harbor is an area you'd have to worry about capsizing.
I mean, that had to be one heck of a wave to flip over a boat that size, but as you will see in this video, it looks like conditions on the ocean were pretty rough and windy yesterday.
Ugh. Can you even imagine how panicked those vacationers must have been? And since the boat was pulling into the harbor at the time of the incident, it sounds like their excursion was in its final few minutes -- and they were almost to safety.
It's such a relief that most of the passengers were rescued, but it's hard not to feel heartbroken over the woman who lost her life while she was supposed to be enjoying a relaxing Florida vacation.
What do you think caused that wave to hit?
Image via ABCNews