Boater dies after vessel capsized off of Palm Beach County

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - It's all still a blur for Brian Sackman. He was boating about one mile off Delray Beach Sunday afternoon when something caught his eye. 

"They started to wave a little more frantically and one guy picked up a life jacket and started to flash it, so I said 'these guys are in trouble,'" Sackman explained.

A boat capsized. At first Sackman saw three people, then one disappeared under the overturned boat. 

Back on shore, lifeguards had already heard about the situation. They launched their personal watercraft and got out to the site as fast as they could to try and help.

"One [lifeguard] jumped in the water right away and he swam under and pulled the guy out from under the boat," Sackman said. 

With all three men and a lifeguard on his boat, Sackman headed straight for land. 

"I think they were in shock," he described the two conscious men who were in the water. "They were just kind of sitting there; they were holding their heads in their hands."

Ambulances and first responders were ready on shore. It wasn’t enough. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says one man died. The other two are healthy. 

The agency continues to investigate the incident. A spokesperson say the boat belonged to one of the three men on board, but wouldn't release their names. 

Sackman didn't know one of the men had died when he spoke. He hoped for a better outcome, but is thankful he was there. 

"I think it was just right time, right place and I hope if something ever happened to me on the water, someone else would come and give me a hand," Sackman said.

 


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