Four boats were sinking or already sunk Thursday at Causeway Cove Marina in Fort Pierce after Hurricspanne Ispann.
Harold “Buzz” Smyth, who manages the marina, estimated millions of dollars in damage between the boats and the docks.
“It’s a sad sight,” Smyth said. “It wasn’t even supposed to come this direction. It was supposed to go somewhere else.”
He didn’t expect any damage, and nobody took their boats out of the water as they typically would before a storm.
The marina could handle wind gusts between 40-50 miles per hour, he said, but one boat recorded a wind gust at 2 a.m. Thursday of 94 knots, which is about 108 miles per hour.
Plus, the wind was coming from the south where there’s no protection for the marina, which is exposed on the southeast side of the South Causeway Bridge.
“We were rockin’ and rollin’ last night,” Smyth said. “There were a lot of people out here, trying to take care of their boats.”
A sailboat named “Blind Luck” out of Norfolk, Virginia, broke free and smashed into new boat lifts, he said. It sunk a pontoon boat and took another boat off its lift, dragging it along toward the shoreline.
A 109-foot boat and a sport fishing boat between 45-50 feet in length were listing on their sides. Another boat was sunk completely in the water.
A couple had been on the sunken boat the previous night before it started to break apart, forcing them to leave, Smyth said.
Boat owners and marina workers were in cleanup mode throughout Thursday. He noted the amount of effort that goes into boating.
“It’s like a community,” Smyth said. “Everybody’s helping each other.”