Dive teams recover 10 cars submerged in Florida lake

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — Dive teams from several Florida agencies spent days pulling cars out of a Deerfield Beach lake and are now working to piece together how they got there.

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The cars were initially found by Guardians for the Missing, WTVJ reported.

“Our organization works usually with cold cases or families who have missing families who have missing family members and their vehicles are missing,” Alison McManus of Guardians for the Missing told WTVJ. “So we search waterways, canals, ponds, lakes, wherever they were last seen. I have a small boat with a sidescan sonar and a diver who comes out and helps me.”

When McManus launched onto Sailboat Lake in Deerfield Beach, she found as many as a dozen cars under the water, WSVN reported.

In a video posted to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, Alex Beer of the sheriff’s office marine unit said that there are actually two smaller lakes that comprise Sailboat Lake, and that crews had identified 10 cars between the two. Two vehicles were identified underwater in the larger lake, and another eight in the smaller one.

Deputies said they didn’t know what they would find in the cars, including not knowing whether any bodies may have been inside the vehicles.

“It’s a possibility,” Beer told WPLG. “We know that for any number of reasons those vehicles are there. Whether it’s an environmental hazard to have them down there — we certainly know they’re not supposed to e there, so they could be stolen, vehicles that were used in a crime.”

The Broward Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Team (DRT), in coordination with the Pembroke Pines Police Department (PPPD) Dive Team, partnered with the Guardians for the Missing to locate and recover vehicles submerged in a lake in Deerfield Beach. The goal of the joint operation is to recover any submerged vehicles, investigate the circumstances surrounding their presence in Sailboat Lake, and continue BSO’s efforts to clear Broward County waterways. To learn more visit

Posted by Broward Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, May 25, 2022

McManus told WFOR that Guardians of the Missing had been searching for Steven Mackrell, who has been missing for eight years.

Among the cars pulled from the water were a green Bentley, a 1997 Jeep SUV, a Volvo, and the shell of a Jet Ski, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Of the vehicles retrieved, three were confirmed stolen, and none were connected with any missing person, according to the newspaper.