Coast Guard responds to sunken dive boat off Florida Keys

Coast Guard District 7 NewsMIAMI — The Coast Guard responded to a sunken charter boat with eight passengers near Islamorada, Fla., Sunday.

The 30-foot commercial diving vessel Get Wet started taking on water before it capsized near the Upper Florida Keys, trapping two of the passengers within the hull.

A good Samaritan reported the incident to the Coast Guard and assisted in the rescue of seven people. The eighth passenger—a 36-year-old female—was pronounced deceased.

The Coast Guard, along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, responded to the incident, which took place at Molasses Reef. A commercial salvage company has been contacted to salvage the vessel.

“The Coast Guard is thankful for good Samaritans on the water who maintain a watchful eye and stand ready to assist boaters in distress,” said Capt. Pat DeQuattro, commander of Coast Guard Sector Key West, Fla. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims of this tragic occurrence.”

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One Comment

  1. Sharon Isler says:

    I was aboard the Get Wet on November 1, 2011 and might be able to offer some insight to the recent sinking and death of Aimee Rhoads. The day I went out with them was too rough to go anywhere except Molasses Reef, but even then, I felt the Scuba Shack mislead me by taking us out in such rough weather. Danny, the only dive mate that showed up that day described the trip later as “4 foot rolling swells.”

    There were only 4 passengers that day. I was the weak link, and struggled to simply hold onto the dive line. I quickly turned back, not sure if I would survive the dive since I have very little dive experience. I was barely able to get back in the boat, breathless and panicked after 5 minutes of trying.

    The next weakest link was a young man from Thailand who barely managed the first dive before joining me topside while throwing up. (I suspect that the passenger who died and the one taken to the hospital the day of the sinking might have been sick and not wearing a BCD or other gear.)

    The other two passengers were a married couple with 30 years experience. I rode in their car to and from the Scuba Shack to the boat and can tell you they were angry they were taken out in such poor weather. The woman banged her shin trying to get back into the boat, only one dive mate showed up for work instead of two, and the owner had neglected to fill the boat with gas before we left. We had a young captain (Noah), who was very responsible and competent. I have friends that live near Danny, the dive mate, and was told that he and Noah started turning away customers after I left town. I was also told that the owner took them off of active duty from their jobs.