Three people had to be rescued after their boat rammed into a jetty in Florida on Friday near the spot where the late Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and two others died in a boating crash in 2016.
The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department said the boaters were stranded on the southwest rocks of Government Cut, a shipping channel that connects Biscayne Bay to the Atlantic Ocean, after the boat crashed into the jetty.
Video posted by the agency on Twitter shows rescuers working to get the people off the damaged boat, pulling them through the dangerous current onto a fireboat.
A man and his son who saw the boat go airborne told WSVN the force of the impact caused the vessel to almost overturn.
“That jetty is visible,” Jett Forsythe told the television station. “There’s no way that they shouldn’t have seen it.”
Jett said the whole incident was “insane.”
“He hit at probably 40 miles an hour, jumped the boat out of the water completely,” he told WSVN.
Fire officials said all three boaters were assessed at the Coast Guard base in Miami Beach, and one was transported to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.
The incident on Friday happened near where Fernandez and two others died in a boating crash in 2016, which took place on the north side of the Government Cut.
In a report last year by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, officials said Fernandez’s boat was traveling southwest from the Atlantic Ocean before colliding with the jetty at a high-rate of speed. The boat landed upside down, killing Fernandez in addition to Eduardo Rivero, 25, and 27-year-old Emilio Jesus Macias.
A toxicology report also stated drugs and alcohol were a factor in the fatal crash, with cocaine found in Fernandez’s system at the time of the accident.
An attorney representing the late pitcher recently claimed investigators prematurely concluded Fernandez was responsible, and then altered or ignored evidence to the contrary. Macias and Rivero’s estates are suiting Fernandez’s estate for $2 million apiece.
While the cause of the most recent crash remains under investigation, Miami fire officials are reminding everyone that “boating at night should only be done by expert navigators and to make sure you have the appropriate safety equipment any time you go out on the water. Remember to slow down & never drink alcohol if you are operating a boat.”
Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.