Sailboat Strikes Las Olas Boulevard Bridge

A 90-foot sailboat struck the Las Olas Boulevard Bridge that connects the mainland to the beach in Fort Lauderdale, FL on Friday afternoon, but injured no one, a city spokesman said.

Adam Matza, who was riding his bike across the bridge, said he heard construction workers yelling, “Reverse, reverse,” before the vessel struck the north side of the bridge.

“So the mast crashed against the bridge and started bending backward. It was a crunching noise; it sounded like metal on metal,” he said.

Traffic wasn’t too heavy, but cars were on the bridge when the boat hit it, Matza said. The incident occurred at about 12:45 p.m. when the boat had a mechanical failure, city spokesman Matt Little said.

There were eight people onboard at the time of the crash, he said.

A spokeswoman for the Las Olas Rehabilitation Project said there was damage to lighting on the bridge rails that are meant to guide boats under the bridge.

The vessel had damage to the bow and foresail; it’s a Turkish-built wooden ketch with two pirate figures on board, Little said.

The sailboat was towed away about an hour after it hit the bridge.

The Las Olas Boulevard Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway is under the jurisdiction of Florida’s Department of Transportation and is located east of the downtown area near waterside communities approaching Fort Lauderdale beach.

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