Skip to main content

Sailboat mast causes power outage in Fort Lauderdale

A sailboat under way on the New River hit power lines Monday afternoon, causing a widespread power outage throughout downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Though the outage was brief, the explosive crash caused two Broward County drawbridges to be locked down until early this morning and it affected hospital admissions and area traffic.

Passersby heard three loud explosions when a Stephens sailboat's 75-foot-tall mast ran into a power conductor, shutting down river traffic and causing three power lines to fall, officials with Florida Power & Light told the Sun-Sentinel.

About 13,000 power company customers experienced a power outage of about a minute because of the accident.

"They got high tide and miscalculated the height," said Eddie Freay, Broward operations leader for Florida Power & Light.

The sailboat, headed west on the New River, hit high-tension wires that cross the waterway immediately west of the Florida East Coast Railway drawbridge, west of Andrews Avenue, according to Andre Slintak of the county's Highway and Bridge Maintenance Division.

"I heard the explosion," said Natasha Gross, the wife of the boat's captain. "It was very frightening, very intense, and the boat rocked a lot because of the cables. It was a loud noise, kind of firework-like."

Gross, of Hollywood, said she was on board with her husband, her 2-year-old son and six others. Her husband was hospitalized with minor injuries as a precaution.

Two county drawbridges — Andrews Avenue and Southwest Seventh Avenue — were locked down, meaning boats could not pass, until early this morning.

The sailboat did not affect the bridges, but police wanted to keep boats away from where the sailboat became entangled in the wires.

Related

VOLVO-EARNINGS

Volvo Penta Reports Q4, FY22 Results

Net sales of $470 million for the quarter were a 33% increase compared to the prior year period.

Pulse-Report

DEALERS: Are You Improving the Service Experience?

Our monthly Pulse Report survey asks this and other questions about your dealership. Take the survey here.

NMRA-SCHOLARSHIP

NMRA Sets Scholarship Deadline

Students pursuing education in the marine trades can apply for the National Marine Representatives Association awards until April 1.

MARINE-PRODUCTS

Marine Products Reports Record Q4

The builder of Chaparral and Robalo boats reported net sales were up 42% for the quarter and 28% for fiscal year 2022.

1_SHURHOLD

Shurhold Appoints COO

Forrest Ferrari has years of management, business development, IT and quality-assurance experience.

MOBILE-CATCH-CENTER

RBFF, Pure Fishing Partner for a First Catch Center

Pure Fishing will equip a mobile trailer with tackle and gear to bring fishing experiences to areas of South Carolina where participation is low.

Norm

An Oft-Overlooked Sales Opportunity

A recent report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation showed that women comprise 37% of all anglers. If you haven’t tapped this segment, you’re missing out.

1. 2023 new boat retail outlook

Too Many High-Priced Boats

To wrap up 2022, marine retailers reported lower demand, expressed more negative sentiment and voiced concerns about rising inventory. Boat prices and the economy remained top of mind for dealers in December.

Soundings Nov 2022

New-Boat Registrations Continue to Slide

As the gaudy sales figures from the pandemic continue to return to more realistic numbers, the main segments of the recreational boating industry saw new-model registrations of 4,421 in November, a 30.3% drop from 6,340 during the same time in 2021. .