MLB Pitcher Fernández among 3 Dead in Boating Crash


According to CNN, Miami Marlins young star pitcher José Fernández and two other men were found dead near a wrecked boat at the entrance to Miami Harbor.

Fernández’s death a loss to his family, to Miami, to baseball

The accident occurred sometime after 10:30 p.m. local time, when the Miami Marlins’ game against the Atlanta Braves that night had ended. Fernández and his two friends, Emilio Marcias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, were on the boat when the crash happened, according to USA Today.

The boat, which Fernández owned but rarely drove, hit a rock jetty near Miami, causing massive damage to the boat and ultimately killing the three men. CNN reports that the boat was likely going the max speed, between 50 and 65 mph, when it struck the rocks.

Debris from the crash was spotted at approximately 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning by the Coast Guard. Shortly after rescue crews were dispatched, the victims’ bodies were recovered. According to USA Today, none of the men were wearing life jackets, though they may not have aided in their survival. Reports say Fernández died on impact and did not drown.

Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a cause of the crash, according to CNN, though the investigation is still ongoing.

Fernández, who defected from Cuba in 2008, won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2013 and was a two-time All-Star.

Recreational Boating Accident Statistics

According to the United States Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety,

  • In 2015, there were 4,158 recorded recreational boating accidents, resulting in 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries.
  • Where cause of death was known, seventy-six percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned in 2015.
    • Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 85 percent were not wearing a life jacket.
  • Only 15 percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received a nationally-approved boating safety education certificate.
  • Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents (17%).

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