Thursday, May 25, 2006

Captains Clash In Towboat Brawl

It's not unusual for businesses to compete for business, but it's news when people fighting for a customer get into a brawl in the middle of the ocean. That's apparently what happened off Dania Beach, and the Captain of a salvage boat has been taken into custody.The high seas fight started after the Captain of the pleasure boat "Fortuna" made a distress call, saying the boat was taking on water about 4 miles south of the Pompano Beach Pier. The Broward Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol spotted people aboard a raft, and helped rescue them, but their boat continued to take on water. As the passengers were rescued, salvage boats from competing companies arrived. Witnesses say the Captains from Sea Tow and TowBoat/US got into what one called a "brawl" over salvage rights. The US Coast Guard, which was also at the rescue, confirmed that it has detained one of the Captains for questioning and will turn that Captain over to BSO as part of its investigation. TowBoat/US took the boat into tow and will take it to a Dania Beach marina for repairs.

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