Woman Killed After Dive Boat Capsized off Pompano Beach Died From Drowning: Medical Examiner

Authorities said Dennis Winchester, 53, was the captain of the 45-foot Coral Princess catamaran.

By Karen Franklin
|  Friday, Nov 23, 2012  |  Updated 10:06 PM EDT
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The Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella talked to NBC 6 South Florida about the death of a woman returning from a dive trip.

The Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella talked to NBC 6 South Florida about the death of a woman returning from a dive trip.

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A woman killed after a commercial dive boat capsized in the Hillsborough Inlet died from drowning, the Broward County Medical examiner ruled Friday.

Nina Poppelsdorf, 54, who was visiting the area from New Mexico, was first transported to Broward Health North, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office. Three others were treated and released.

Authorities said Dennis Winchester, 53, the captain of the 45-foot Coral Princess catamaran, did everything he could to keep the boat upright after a wave hit it from behind.

"Apparently the captain was just trying to come through some rough waters," said BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella. "It was windy, there were waves rolling in, there was a rogue wave that hit the back of the boat and capsized the boat sending everyone into the water."

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Sandra King, spokeswoman for Pompano Fire, told NBC 6 South Florida that the inlet is tough to negotiate.

"They say it turns into a wash basin," she said. "It's a rough inlet."

BSO said homicide detectives will investigate the incident.

"Right now it looks like this is a tragic accident," she said. "What started out as a gorgeous day on the water for 23 people ended in tragedy."

At the time of the incident, two crew members and 21 divers were aboard the boat, which is owned by South Florida Diving Headquarters in Pompano Beach, BSO said.

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