On Sunday, a 32' Scorpion center console recreational boat with two passengers onboard hit the 146' Fisher Island Club Ferry just before 4 a.m. The crash took place off Miami in the North Channel of a 900'-wide shipping lane that connects Biscayne Bay to the Atlantic Ocean, according to the Miami Herald.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Eric Rodriguez confirmed that the crash killed 27-year-old Cristian Gaston-Fernandez. Fernandez’s body was later found on site by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue divers. The other passenger, Angel Dominguez, was critically injured in the event. There were no passengers on the ferry.
Dominguez was rescued by the three crewmembers onboard the ferry. The ferry crew were not injured in the crash. Angel Dominguez is currently listed in serious condition at Jackson Medical Center in Miami.
A friend of both passengers, Russell Ramirez, said the group was together on the water just hours before the crash. “We were having a good time (and) we were just partying,” Ramirez told Miami’s Local 10 News, also disclosing that the boat belonged to Dominguez.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission released a preliminary report that stated it was unclear whether alcohol was a factor in the crash, though it does mention arrests are pending. The report did not mention which of the two men was driving the boat, according to the Herald.
During the Coast Guard’s 11-hour investigation and recovery of the vessel, the PortMiami channel was closed. The closure left three cruise ships containing more than 16,000 passengers idling off the coast. According to CBS News, roughly the same amount of passengers waiting to board the cruise ships were stuck in the terminal.
WorkBoat reached out to both the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Fisher Island Club for comment.