Rogue wave capsizes 45-foot cat in Florida

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A Florida dive boat carrying 23 people on Thanksgiving Day capsized when a rogue wave hit, resulting in the death of a New Mexico woman.

Nina Poppelsdorf, 54, was a manager at one of the nation’s leading research laboratories and was in Florida for a holiday dive trip with a nephew, authorities told the Associated Press on Friday.

The Broward County Medical Examiner ruled Friday that Poppelsdorf drowned Thursday when a large wave flipped the Coral Princess, a 45-foot catamaran carrying her and nearly two dozen others off Pompano Beach, Fla.

The Sandia Park, N.M., woman died at a hospital after the capsizing, said Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella. Witnesses told the AP that the Coral Princess was approaching the Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach when a wave 8 to 10 feet high flipped the twin-hulled craft.

The Coral Princess is a Corinthian catamaran owned by South Florida Diving Headquarters in Pompano Beach. The Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Fort Lauderdale reached Jeff Torode, owner of South Florida Diving, by phone, but he declined to comment.

Three of the 23 people on the boat were treated and released. Most of them were from out of town on vacation, authorities told the newspaper.

Officials said nearby boaters jumped into the water to pull people to safety. Pompano Beach Fire Rescue workers used personal watercraft to get to the site. The Coast Guard and other state and local agencies assisted in the rescue.

The accident remains under investigation.

Click here for the full report.


3 comments on “Rogue wave capsizes 45-foot cat in Florida

  1. john ennis

    Did the captain get a rythm of how the waves were acting before trying to run the inlet? The wind was out of the NE and gusting to at least 25 knots. Perfect for what I call a “washing machine” sea. One where you can get clobbered by a so called “freak wave.” Especialy at an inlet where flow is constricted I was at Sebastian Inlet when the cat flipped but waters at most if not all the inlets were very turbulent. Nobody was going out. Period. Looks like a case of safety losing out to the dollar bill.

  2. thataway

    “Though a scenic South Florida day, conditions on the water were dicey, the seas running 5 to 7 feet with a wind from the north at 20 to 28 mph, said Lisa Morgan, a Sea Tow International dispatcher”

    A Rogue Wave?
    These were conditions that a 10″ draft, low freeboard , bay type of cat should not have been out in. It is terrible that a person lost their life. But the skipper bears responsibility for taking that type of boat out into the ocean under conditions where there were small craft warnings.

  3. Bigbill

    ROUGE WAVE???? If you read the ‘Full Report’, the seas were running 5 to seven feet, and the boat was approaching an inlet. I those conditions I would not call an 8 to 10 foot wave ROUGE. Is Trade Only going the way of Main Stream America Media and overdramatizing events for HEADLINE IMPACT, not what I look for in a “Professional Publication”. By no means do I wish to make light of the tragic death and injuries sustained, but ROUGE WAVE is pushing the envelope.

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