Boat driver: Saturday's crash "was scary" - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Boat driver: Saturday's crash "was scary"

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The destroyed boat as it was towed back in Sunday. The destroyed boat as it was towed back in Sunday.
MT. PLEASANT, SC -

A normal, Saturday Charleston harbor cruise turned into a scary scene as a 19 foot boat lost power and slammed into the rocks near Fort Sumter.

The accident happened around 4 Saturday afternoon. Officials from the Sullivans Island Fire and Rescue, The Department of Natural Resources and Charleston County Rescue responded to the accident.

Dawoud Ameri was showing his family around the water when everything went wrong.

"The boat suddenly shut off, and the current pulled us in towards Fort Sumter where we started hitting rocks," he said.

The rocks created a gash in the boat, which started taking on water shortly before sinking. A passenger on board said the speed of the current and height of the waves rocked them back and forth. 

"It was swinging us left and right and everyone on the boat was getting knocked around pretty badly," Venus Zar said.

Ameri, who purchased the boat about six months ago, tried everything to keep the current from dragging the boat to the rocks, but his efforts failed.

"We just pulled out the paddles and tried to push ourselves away to the rocks," he said.

As the passengers battled the elements, workers from Fort Sumter realized what was going on and helped pull the six to safety.

"It could have been much worse if we crashed somewhere else where no one would have seen us," Ameri said.

On Sunday, Ameri and several friends towed the sunken boat back into shore. For Ameri, it was not an easy sight. 

"When we saw the boat, it was upside down with a big hole in the bow," he said. "It was horrible. I knew there was no way to fix it whatsoever."

The Department of Natural Resources is leading the investigation into the crash. Calls for more information on the accident have not been returned at this time.

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