Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
At 4:15 p.m., Marquis decided to turn the boat around—but realized the anchor was stuck. Nick says the same thing happened the week before when he, Corey and Marquis were fishing in the same spot. They had to cut the line and leave the anchor behind.
This time, Nick says Marquis didn't want to lose another anchor. "We tried a couple different maneuvers and turned the boat around and pulled it from every which angle," he says. "At that point, I was pretty much worthless because I had been sick so long."
The anchor's rope was attached to the front of the boat. Will suggested untying the rope, reattaching it to the back and gunning the engine to move the anchor. "Our intention was, 'Okay, if we gun the motor, we're either going to rip this thing out or the line's going to snap,'" Nick says.
As Marquis gunned the engine, Nick says the boat began to flip. "Marquis was driving. Will was toward the middle of the boat, and Corey was on the opposite side of the boat. I was still sitting there by Marquis by the steering wheel," he says. "Within maybe two seconds, it slowly flipped."
Combined, the men weighed nearly 950 pounds. Nick says Marquis yelled for everyone to rush to the side rising above the water before the boat flipped, but it didn't work. "It was inevitable that it was going to flip," he says. "Who would think that a 1-inch rope would flip this big boat with four guys on it?"