Miami, FL – The owner of a chartered yacht said a group of customers held the boat’s captain at gunpoint and attempted to rob him as they were returning to a dock in Florida on Sunday night.
The unidentified owner said there were between 13 and 17 people on board the vessel at the time of the incident, WSVN reported.
The customers who chartered the yacht had already paid and the captain was maneuvering the boat along the Miami River back to dock at about 10 p.m. when at least one individual held the captain at gunpoint and demanded their money back, according to the yacht owner.
The owner told WSVN that another crew member was able to covertly send out a text for help, leading to a massive police response.
The yacht was situated on the water near the Wharf Miami in the area of Second Street and Southwest River Drive as police swarmed the vessel on two sides, witness Terence Quek told WSVN.
🚨#BREAKING: Multiple Law Enforcement are on the scene to Armed Man Holding Over a Dozen People Hostage Aboard a yacht⁰⁰📌#Miami | #Florida
⁰Currently, multiple law enforcements and other agencies are on the scene as they respond to an Armed man with a gun holding a boat… pic.twitter.com/p1XhCokfsv
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) July 24, 2023
“People are just raising their hands up, so we were kind of wondering what’s going on,” Quek said. “We didn’t think it was anything big until, like, there’s cop cars coming from the other side as well, so it was kind of like an ambush from both sides, and that’s when we got rushed out, we saw police holding guns, rushing in. It’s a crazy scene.”
Cell phone footage showed officers armed with rifles aboard the boat as well as passengers who had their hands raised.
Everyone on board was ultimately evacuated, WTVJ reported.
Miami police said no one was in custody as of late Sunday night.
It is unclear whether police are searching for a suspect, WTVJ reported.
No one was injured during the incident, according to WSVN.
The vessel, Nirvana, is a 32-meter-long Rodman motor yacht delivered from Spain in 2005, the Super Yacht Times reported.
It boasts three staterooms with accommodations for up to five people.
The yacht is capable of reaching a top speed of 24 knots and a cruising speed of 21 knots, according to the Super Yacht Times.