Rising Florida drawbridge partially crushes pontoon boat, sending passengers scrambling
JUPITER, Fla. - Frightening video showed the moment when a boat ended up getting partially crushed by a rising South Florida drawbridge, with some on board jumping into the water to avoid being caught in the machinery.
Jillian Pisciotta captured cell phone video from the edge of the Intracoastal Waterway in Jupiter last month, showing the pontoon boat stopping under the Cato drawbridge.
"Twenty minutes went by and the drawbridge began to open for a sailboat," Pisciotta said. "(The bridge) began to crush the boat and me and my friends were in shock, not knowing how to react."
Rather than going under through the main channel, those aboard the pontoon boat had passed under a part of the bridge near the edge of the waterway that had signs posted reading, "Unauthorized personnel prohibited," "Danger: Moving Machinery," and "No Trespassing; Violators Will Be Prosecuted."
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When the drawbridge began to rise, the machinery began pushing on part of the boat in the process, crushing the side.
Pisciotta's video showed the boaters scrambling to the other side of the boat, with some jumping in the water to avoid injury.
There was no word on how many passengers were on board the boat, but Pisciotta said it appeared that no one was injured.
A Palm Beach County spokesperson told WSVN that the bridge tender was unaware that a boat was underneath the bridge.