A Columbus Day catamaran cruise ended in peril for 30 people after the craft capsized in waters near Miami and they were tossed into the sea, authorities said.
The 45-foot privately owned vessel began taking on water into the hold, near the Miami Seaquarium where thousands of boaters were out to commemorate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas.
U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Doss told the Associated Press that it wasn't immediately clear why the boat started taking on water, causing it to topple and send 30 passengers and crew and a dog into the water.
The Coast Guard was notified just before 5:30 p.m. ET, according to NBCSouthFlorida.com.
Doss added that volunteers, the Coast Guard, state wildlife officials and commercial boats helped pluck people out of the water within minutes. The dog was also rescued.
"It was an incredible effort," Doss told the AP.
There were no reports of deaths or serious injuries, authorities told NBCSouthFlorida.com.
A preliminary investigation indicated the boat was privately owned by someone who may have been charging people to taxi them to a party on Nixon Beach, Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesman Jorge Pino told NBCSouthFlorida.com
The agency is investigating what caused the catamaran - which is still partially submerged in 6 to 8 feet of water - to capsize.
"Every year we see the same thing," Jorge Pino told the station. "We see individuals that like to go out and have a good time and they do it in a respectful way without any issues, but then again you also have those individuals who go out there and they don't do it the right way."
"We are prepared to go anywhere whether it be inside Biscayne National Park or in northern Miami-Dade County -- we're ready," he added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published October 14 2013, 2:03 AM