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Vessel Capsizes Off Miami, Dumps 30 People into the Ocean

Oct 14, 2013

Thirty people – and one dog – were tossed into the water off the Miami coast when the 45-foot boat they were riding on capsized Sunday during a Columbus Day weekend with heavy seafaring traffic.

Everyone on board, including the dog, was rescued – and survived the incident, according to the Associated Press (AP). There were no reports of deaths or serious injuries, authorities said, reported NBC Miami.

The boat, a catamaran – a multihull sailing vessel – began sinking near the Miami Seaquarium. Within minutes of the capsizing, people were quickly pulled from the water by various rescuers in addition to the Coast Guard; Good Samaritans, state wildlife officials and commercial boats helped in the rescue effort, according to the AP report.

“Thousands of boaters” were sailing in the area on other vessels when the boat capsized, the AP reported.

The owner of the boat, a private citizen, may have been charging people to ferry them to Nixon Beach for a party, Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesman Jorge Pino said, the AP reported. “If that's the case he will face some other charges," Pino noted. The agency is looking into the cause of the sinking.

The catamaran can still be seen partially submerged in 6 to 8 feet of water; vessels in the area have been cautioned about sailing too close to it, NBC Miami reported.

The people saved from the water were taken to the Four Ambassadors Suites Hotel on Southwest 8th Street and Brickell Avenue, where Miami Fire’s triage had been erected, The U.S. Coast Guard said, NBC Miami reported, adding that The Coast Guard was first called about the capsized vessel around 5:30 p.m.

In the area, during the past 10 years, six people have died amid Columbus Day celebrations, and many others have suffered lacerations, broken bones, crush injuries, alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses, NBC Miami reported.

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