Diners Plunged Into Water After Dock Collapses at Waterfront Restaurant

A recent incident at a waterside restaurant in Florida left one group of diners with a more immersive experience than they likely bargained for. After the outdoor deck of the eatery partially collapsed, patrons were sent into the neighboring body of water, leaving two injured.

The incident occurred just before 5 p.m. on January 21 at Flip Flops Dockside Eatery, located along the Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal Waterway. As Fire Rescue Battalion Chief and Assistant Fire Marshal Stephen Gollan explained to Newsweek, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue officials headed to the scene after 911 calls reported that "a dock had collapsed with people in the water."

According to the Associated Press, at least three adults fell into the water following the partial collapse. The diners swam to a boat located nearby and were pulled out of the water by bystanders.

Of the three, two were transported to Holy Cross hospital for treatment of minor injuries. According to Gollan, "the third adult refused any medical treatment."

While the precise cause of the dock collapse has yet to be confirmed, Gollan said, per AP, that the structure appeared to show signs of decay. He also said that it looked as though repairs had been made to the dock recently.

"The cause of the failure is currently being investigated by Fort Lauderdale's Building official and the area of the incident has been roped off until the appropriate repairs can be made," added Gollan in a message to Newsweek.

Docks do have lifespans, which vary according to their type. A floating dock, which sways in the water, can last 20 to 30 years. A stationary dock, meanwhile, is secured to the bottom of the body of water and can last 25 to 35 years. The exact type of dock used by Flip Flops Dockside Eatery is not currently known.

According to its mission statement, Flip Flops Dockside Eatery "[wants] everyone to feel at home and to relax."

"Forget about your worries or the daily grind and chill out dockside watching the boats sail along the Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal while listening to the sounds of the islands," advised the establishment.

Newsweek reached out to Flip Flops Dockside Eatery for comment.

In other Florida news, a man in Daytona Beach recently fought a bear on his front porch in order to protect his dogs from attack. While he did sustain non-life-threatening injuries in the brawl, he did successfully shield his dogs from harm.

Waterfront Restaurant
In Florida, diners at a waterfront restaurant were sent into the water after a dock supporting the eatery partially collapsed. Law enforcement officials said the cause of the collapse is still under investigation. DeSid/iStock / Getty Images Plus