• Workers scramble to save partially submerged sailboat near Ponce Inlet


    VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Workers scrambled Friday to save a sailboat that was partially submerged near the Ponce Inlet.

    WFTV has learned the 42-foot boat, with two people aboard, ran aground during low tide in the Halifax River, just south of the inlet, and began taking on water.

    The two people aboard that vessel were taken to shore by another boat and are OK.

    Skywitness 9 HD was overhead as crews worked to pump water from the vessel and divers prepared to go into the water. 

    “I was in shock,” said boat owner Diane Robinson. “I would not believe it because as soon as we looked inside the boat, all the water was up the floorboards within minutes.”

    Crews were eventually able to pull the boat to shore before it sunk.

    Robinson and her husband, Michael, are recently retired and have been sailing all their lives. The couple said they just bought the sailboat for the trip of a lifetime, and it's where they've called home for days.

    “We live on the boat,” said Robinson. “That's our home. “It's our dream. We'd been planning this for years.”

    The boat hit the ground with so much force that it damaged the underside, which is where the water began pouring in.

    It took crews less than five hours to get the boat out of the water.

    The Robinsons will now see if the damage can be fixed.

    “I am bewildered,” said Diane Robinson. “I don't know. I totally don't know.”

    Witnesses told Channel 9 boats commonly get stuck in that part of the Intracoastal Waterway because of the sandbar. They said they've seen about six boats run aground since December but none that actually took on water until Friday.

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    Workers scramble to save partially submerged sailboat near Ponce Inlet