Woman, boy die beneath capsized boat in Indian River Lagoon
Florida wildlife officials investigate incident
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A 65-year-old woman and a 4-year-old boy died after being trapped under a capsized boat on the Indian River Lagoon near Melbourne.
Stephanie Coleman, of New York, and Ares Aronoyos, of Mims, died in the accident, which occurred Sunday in the Indian River Lagoon near the Eau Gallie Causeway, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Officials said an 18-foot Wellcraft Sportsman began taking on water and capsized after a squall struck, making waves up to 3 feet. Four of the six people on board made it safely off the boat.
About 20 fishermen, boaters, bystanders, firefighters and police tried to rescue the trapped victims.
"It's hard out there with this wind and water," the 911 caller told dispatchers. "Yeah, oh yeah, they're having a hard time. The guys just got blown away from the sailboat. The pontoon boat is trying to get up to him now and they're trying to get on there, but they're having a hard time getting on the boat."
When they flipped the boat, they found Coleman and Ares wearing life jackets, officials said.
The victims were taken to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
The FWC is investigating the accident.
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