Florida Keys News
Monday, October 7, 2013
Wild ride for waterspout chasers
Waterspouts pull boaters into thrill of a lifetime

What started as a snorkle trip to test lobster and spearfishing gear quickly turned into a thrill ride for a group of Florida Keys divers.

Keys residents Aaron Osters and Kevin Johnson set out on the water last week with the goal of testing an all-in-one lobster tickle stick/lionfish pole spear.

While the two men were busy getting their bag limit of lobster in the Gulf of Mexico offshore of the Seven Mile Bridge, they noticed a series of waterspouts forming, said Osters, who is the owner of Bandito Spearguns and Florida Keys Kiteboarding.

Seven complete waterspouts had formed, and Osters and Johnson quickly chased after them. They steered their small 17-foot skiff directly into one of the waterspouts, which was 30 feet wide and had a vortex that was 15 feet wide, Osters said.

"We didn't go through the vortex, but through the outskirts of it," Osters said. "You could feel the boat being pulled into the vortex. It had some suction .... It opened the back hatches of the boat and our ears started to pop. It was an experience."

The two men captured their adventures with both photos and video, which have since gone viral on the Internet and picked up by Florida news televisions stations.

"This has just blown up," Osters said. "It's amazing."


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