US & Canada

Florida: US couple hope to recover their sunken 'dream' boat

A photo of the capsized boat taken from a GoFundMe page set up by the couple. Image copyright Nikki Walsh/GoFundMe
Image caption Despite the unfortunate experience, the US couple say they are not giving up on their dream trip

A US couple quit their jobs and sold all of their belongings to set sail on a boat, which then sank two days into their journey.

Tanner Broadwell, 26, and Nikki Walsh, 24, saved for two years to sail from their Florida home to the Caribbean in their 28ft (8.5m) boat.

But it hit an underwater object soon after setting off, forcing them to evacuate.

The couple have since set up a fundraising page to cover the repairs.

The page was set up four days ago with a target of $10,000 (£7,000), but it has already raised more than $14,000.

"We lost every single one of our belongings with no insurance, but we all made it to land alive & we are not giving up on our dreams!" Ms Walsh wrote.

They set sail last Tuesday from Tarpon Springs, heading towards Key West in the state's far south. However, on Wednesday night - after only one full day at sea - their boat capsized near Madeira Beach.

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Media captionA US couple sold all of their belongings to buy their dream boat, only for it to sink

"On our way in for the night to go into safe harbour, we ended up hitting something underwater, and it took the bottom of the boat off," Tanner Broadwell told BBC Outside Source.

"We bought a cheap, old sailboat - we didn't think we'd lose it all that fast. The plan was to get some insurance, but we didn't get to it."

Nikki said they had managed to save some important paperwork, and their pet pug, Remy.

She was "so thankful" for everyone who donated to their crowdfunding campaign, and the couple are now looking into an offer from one individual to donate a new boat.

The couple, who previously worked in Philadelphia and Colorado, spent two years planning their boat trip.

Mr Broadwell says he worked extra hours as a minicab driver in order to be able to afford it.

"I sold everything I had to do this, and I lost everything in the matter of 20 minutes," he told the Tampa Bay Times.

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