Marlins Pitcher Killed in Boating Accident
The Major League Baseball community was shocked and saddened this weekend by the death of Jose Fernandez, a pitcher for the Miami Marlins. Fernandez, who was only 24, was killed early Sunday morning in a boating accident in Miami.
When the Florida coast guard found the boat, it was upside down near a rock jetty. Two other victims likely died of drowning, while Fernandez died upon impact. The coast guard reports that drugs or alcohol were not an apparent factor of the crash. According to reports, none of the victims were wearing lifejackets. Regardless of the circumstances, a talented, well-liked young man was killed, and his death is a tragedy for those who knew him.
Fernandez, who immigrated to the United States from Cuba, grew up in Tampa and attended Braulio Alonso High School in Hillsborough County, giving him a connection to the Tampa Bay area. While playing for the Marlins, his pitching statistics were impressive, but following his tragic death, he is being mourned as much more than just a good baseball player. Friends and teammates remember him as positive and cheerful, and the Marlins have cancelled their upcoming game in his honor. The outpouring of grief and support from other MLB teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays, shows that Jose Fernandez was a positive member of the baseball community. He will be missed by his team, friends, and of course, his family.
Boating Accident Statistics
Fernandez’s death is a reminder that boating accidents, unfortunately, are a common occurrence in Florida. Our easy access to waterways and beautiful beaches mean that boating is an excellent pastime for many Floridians. Due to the high number of boaters, it also means a greater number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities. In 2015, there were 3,589 boating accidents in Florida, according to the United States Coast Guard. 569 of these accidents were fatal. Most accidents occur in the summer months, and early in the morning, like the accident that killed Fernandez. Drugs and alcohol are a common factor in boating accidents, but can also result from mechanical issues or dangerous weather.
In many cases, death or injury might have prevented if the victims were wearing lifejackets. However, only 11.2% of adults say they wear lifejackets while boating. Most states have laws that state that children under 13 must always wear a lifejacket while boating. However, there is no law that enforces lifejacket use for adults. Since most boating fatalities are a result of drowning, a lifejacket can save a life. Even if you are a strong swimmer, an accident could render you unconscious. Without a lifejacket, you can still drown if you fall into the water, or become trapped under the boat.
For more information, visit the website of the United States Coast Guard or see the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission’s section of boating safety.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.