According to reports released by various news outlets, Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident on Sunday. Fernandez, 24, was one of three people found deceased after a boat they were riding in was found crashed near Miami Beach. Fish and Wildlife Commission confirmed the reports.
Coast Guard personnel located the bodies shortly after 3 in the morning. The names of the other two men who were killed, also in their 20s, were being withheld until their families could be notified properly.
The Marlins released a statement following the accident: “The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.” The team’s game against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday was canceled.
Fernandez was drafted by the team in 2011. He was named National League Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was a two-time All-Star. He was considered the league’s star pitcher.
At the time of the report of Fernandez’s death, speed was assumed to be a factor in the accident.
At times like this, we mourn the deaths of those who have been lost, and we take time to remind ourselves of how we can keep ourselves safe. If you will be out on a boat in Miami or elsewhere, keeping yourself and your passengers safe is your responsibility. Here are a few tips on how you can do just that.
Operating a boat on the open water is similar to driving a car down a highway. It’s very easy to reach speeds that are unsafe. If you are driving a boat, always be aware of your speed. The rate of speed at which you operate your vessel should be safe for the weather, water conditions and how many people are sharing the seas with you. It’s tempting to speed over the water. Avoid the temptation.
Imagine a day of drifting lazily on the water under sunny skies. You have your shades on, your head tipped back and a beer or cocktail in your hand. Life couldn’t get better. The problem with this scenario is that sooner or later you will have to jump back behind the wheel and get your boat to shore. Drinking and driving a boat is just as dangerous as getting drunk and behind the wheel of a car. Don’t drink and operate your vessel. It really is that simple.
How many times have you gotten up, watched the forecast and gotten angry in the afternoon when you were caught in an unexpected downpour? It happens. Don’t rely on weather reports that you saw last week or even yesterday. Always watch the weather before you head out onto the water. Keep your eyes open for any changes on the horizon. Head back to shore if inclement weather is approaching. Even the most experienced boaters can have difficulty operating in bad weather.
Always let someone know where you will be going and how long you expect to be gone. If you change your route, let someone know that, too. By letting someone know where you are going, you are giving rescuers a route to start with should you not report in when you said you would.
At a minimum, you should have one life jacket on board your boat for every passenger. You should also have flares, a first aid kit and plenty of bottled water.
Any person who has decided to operate a boat should not do so before they take and pass a boating course. You wouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car and drive any distance before you took driver’s ed, right? The same goes for boating. There are many nuances to driving a boat that need to be learned. There are also laws that pertain to the water that you need to know.
Boating may seem safer than driving a car, but it is just as dangerous. If you plan on boating on Florida’s waters, it is important that you do so with safety in mind.
If you have been involved in a boating accident in West Palm Beach or elsewhere in South Florida, call our office as soon as possible. A member of our team will schedule your free case evaluation where we will advise you of your options for seeking compensation for your injuries. Call today for assistance.