While October isn’t the busiest boating season, warm fall weather means that plenty of boaters, both experienced and inexperienced, will be taking to Florida waters. In a tragic accident, a 29-year-old woman was killed when two boats were involved in a deadly collision. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the accident involved a 65-foot yacht and a 27-foot boat. Three people fell into the water following the collision and were brought aboard the yacht. All three victims were taken to Mercy Hospital for medical care. In critical condition, the 29-year-old victim was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
The deadly boating accident, which occurred near Key Biscayne, has sparked a wide investigation and controversy as operators of both boats await toxicology reports. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the 27-foot boat was headed south when it collided with the yacht, traveling in a northern direction after 10 o’clock in the evening. The crash occurred on Columbus Day weekend when there were additional officers patrolling the area. They were able to respond quickly when they saw flares shot into the air.
The agency has not determined cause of the accident, but did perform immediate sobriety tests on the operator of the larger boat. He performed a breathalyzer test and also had his blood drawn, but toxicology reports can take weeks. The officers were also investigating whether speed or reckless driving was a cause of the accident. Any accident involving a fatality should be investigated by authorities as well as an independent investigator. In this case, the cause of the accident may include speeding or reckless boating, drinking and boating, driving without a license, violation of Florida boating laws, manufacturing defects, and other causes.