Officials: Woman drowned after boat capsized

Published On: Nov 23 2012 07:48:00 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 24 2012 07:39:46 PM EST

Courtesy: Sea Tow Fort Lauderdale

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -

The Broward County Medical Examiner Friday ruled a woman who died in a boat accident drowned.

Nina Poppelsdorf, 54, of Sandia Park, New Mexico, died Thursday after a large wave hit a dive boat, causing it to capsize after a Thanksgiving Day dive trip, authorities said.

An autopsy was planned for the woman Friday, who was visiting South Florida from New Mexico.

Witnesses said the 45-foot catamaran Coral Princess was approaching the Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach when a wave eight to 10 feet high came in and "surprised them." The wave tipped the boat over from one side to the other.

Poppelsdorf was in Florida with her nephew, who is from Pennsylvania, just for the dive trip.

"They just went on this fun trip together to just do dives," said Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella. "So this is especially tragic that it was on Thanksgiving and it ended in tragedy."

The Coral Princess is a Corinthian catamaran owned by South Florida Diving Headquarters in Pompano Beach. A phone message left Friday by The Associated Press for the owner of the boat was not immediately returned.

Three of the 23 people on the boat were treated and released. Most of them were from out of town on vacation, authorities said.

Officials said nearby boaters jumped into the water to pull people to safety. Pompano Beach Fire Rescue workers used personal watercraft to get to the site. The U.S. Coast Guard and other state and local agencies assisted in the rescue.

The accident remains under investigation.

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