A Sunday spent boating at popular Peanut Island turned into a rescue for six people who were pulled from their wave-swamped vessel by a Good Samaritan.
While no one was injured in the incident on the Intracoastal Waterway, there were some scary moments for the boaters as water rose in a matter of minutes from ankle deep to chest deep. The boaters were brought to shore at about 5 p.m.
Boynton Beach resident John Watson, whose 8-months pregnant wife Daneshia Toomer Watson was one of the first to get off the sinking boat, said he was relieved everyone made it safely to shore at West Palm Beach’s Currie Park.
“I’m still having a good day because I’m alive and we’re all OK,” Watson said.
Randy Kreuzer, owner of the 19.5-foot boat that capsized after taking on water, said he lost one of his two engines and had trouble fighting the current. Waves, whipped by winds that were gusting to 40 mph at Palm Beach International Airport, sloshed water into Kreuzer’s boat faster than the bilge pump could get it out.
“We almost got to the dock,” Kreuzer said. “The wind was just blowing wave after wave.”
Kreuzer said Sea Tow would recover his boat.
The Good Samaritan’s boat also took on water with nine people heaped onto his four-person boat. It limped to the dock with its motor underwater by the time it could be pulled up the boat ramp.
The Good Samaritan didn’t give his name.
“Once we started taking on water too, it got a little scary,” said Tia Cone, a Fort Lauderdale resident who was on the Good Samaritan’s boat before it picked up the people from the sinking boat.
The National Weather Service in Miami has a small craft advisory in place until 2 a.m. Monday. That means wind gusts are forecast to reach at least 34 mph.