Boat Capsizes Near Ormond Beach

A 16-foot catamaran capsized yesterday, leading to one death and the hospitalization of another student from Armstrong Aeronautical University.

The boat capsized around 5 pm according to Randy Cohen, one of the students who went sailing. The students were left stranded at sea with no life jackets, hanging on to the boat’s pontoons through the night.

At dawn they decided to swim back to shore at Ormond Beach, a four mile journey through rough waters.

Cohen, who was swimming in front of Christy Wapniarski, reported hearing Wapniarski call for help on their way back to shore. She claimed she was being attacked by a shark.

By the time Cohen reached Wapniarski, she was unconscious. Cohen reported seeing no sign of a shark. He put his arms around her shoulders and began helping her to shore.

Daniel Perrin, another student, checked Wapniarski’s pulse and reported that she had died, but Cohen refused to let her go until he became exhausted and had no other choice.

By the time they reached the shore Cohen had been bitten by dozens of Portuguese men-of-war, and is now hospitalized at Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach. The other two students were examined at the hospital and released.

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