Boat speeding in no-wake zone in Fort Lauderdale causes damage to docked vessels

A Cellphone video posted on social media shows a yacht speeding through a no-wake zone and causing damage to nearby vessels docked on the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale just north of Commercial Boulevard drawbridge. The boat pilot was trying to cross the bridge before it went down for traffic.

Jeremy Rafferty’s video captured the vessel speeding through the no-wake zone to beat the drawbridge before it closed. Rafferty works at a nearby waterfront restaurant to tie up boats to its dock.

The wake the vessel created caused cleats to be pulled from the dock, crushed some deck boards and shattered a glass wind shield of one of the stationary boats.

Boat speeding on no wake zone Fort Lauderdale
Boat speeding on no wake zone Fort Lauderdale.

Rafferty could be heard in the video warning others to stay back as their vessels rocked violently from the wake.

“I knew there’s nothing you could do with the boats because you can get hurt like that one guy did,” he added referring to another cellphone video that shows a man trying to protect his boat. His foot got pinned against the restaurant’s dock.

“He tried to hold it off with his leg, and I think his leg got … was in between the boat and just smooshed it,” Rafferty said.

Shane Sultan’s boat was also tied and damaged in the wake, and he did not hesitate to chase the driver down. “I jumped on the boat, and I proceeded to follow the guy down,” Sultan said.

Sultan said he followed the boat and called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It remains unclear if the driver of the boat was caught up with. FWC said they are aware of the incident, and that could mean charges for the driver of the boat.

Max Francisco

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