The back patio of Shucker's Bar & Grill collapsed into Biscayne Bay on Thursday, June 13, 2013. Dozens of customers plunged into the water as it fell.
Customers dine on the dock at Sea Critters Café in Pass-A-Grille, Florida.
St. Pete Beach, Florida - There were some scary moments at, Shuckers Bar & Grill in the North Bay Village area of Miami Beach Thursday night.
It was during the NBA finals, just after one of the Heat players scored a huge bucket. Witnesses say a crowd of about 100 people jumped up to cheer, and the deck gave way underneath them.
See also: Dozens of diners fall into bay as bar deck collapses
They plunged into eight feet of dark water in the Biscayne Bay. Two dozen people were hurt, some of them seriously.
Friday, investigators were busy examining a twisted pile of concrete, metal and wood- trying to figure out why the waterfront deck folded.
It's not clear just how old the deck was, and when it was last inspected or renovated.
At Sea Critters Café in Pass-A-Grille " Tom G.", as he likes to be called, tells his customers he's the head dishwasher as he greets each one of them to ask them about their meal.
Thomas Giombetti is really the restaurant's founder. They specialize in dockside dining, and Tom says he's saddened by what happened at Shuckers.
"You have profound concern for your customers. I wouldn't want to be sitting out on that dock if it was washed out to the Gulf of Mexico."
He says that's why they take a proactive approach at Sea Critters.
"We have to maintain our facility to the extent that we have to monitor our docks," Tom adds. "For example, we have some wind dock damage on one of our docks, so we shut it down. We didn't want to take the chance until we get it remedied."
He says they don't just rely on sight checks either. They can't.
The wood pilings submerged in salt water are under constant attack. Marine biologists point to the marine borer. The creatures, also known as shipworms, bore into wood pilings and eventually destroy them. Worm-like, invertebrate creatures like clams are also known to do the same.
It's factors like those that keep Tom up-to-date on inspections.
"We have somebody inspect once a year. Our insurance requires that to make sure there is proper integrity there structurally."
10 News spoke with the owner of a local dock company. He says he and his colleagues are swamped right now repairing residential and commercial docks after Tropical Storm Andrea.
He says in our area, docks have to be inspected after they're built by either the city or county building department, but after that, businesses are on their own to maintain them. He also says most pilings have a life span of 25 years.
No word on the condition of the wood pilings at Shuckers, but the company's website says they've been around more than 20 years.
Follow 10 News Anchor Tammie Fields on twitter @tammiefields
Tammie Fields, 10 News