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.

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