After 2 die off Fisher Island, community association promises to improve ferry safety

Fisher Island association president asks drivers to make sure cars’ emergency breaks are on while on ferry

2 women found dead after car falls off Fisher Island Ferry identified

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The Fisher Island Community Association released a statement Thursday asking drivers who are using the ferry to make sure their cars are in park and the emergency brakes are on.

The association is also asking drivers to turn off headlights at night and to pay heed to access control officers and deckhands.

The association also reported a new investment on marine engineers, architects and designers.

“In light of the recent tragedy, we are looking at ways to improve our ferry operations,” Roberto Sosa, the president of the association, said in a statement, adding that they want to make sure that “a calamity like this is never repeated.”

Emma Afra, 63, (left) of Miami Beach, and Viviane Brahms, 75, of Harrison, New York, died Feb. 18 after Afra’s car fell off the Fisher Island Ferry and sank in Government Cut.

According to Sosa, Fisher Island’s ferry system had operated for 20 years “without a blemish on its record” before Emma Afra, 63, of Miami Beach, and Viviane Brahms, 75, of Harrison, New York, died while using the service Tuesday.

Afra was in the driver’s seat of a 2019 Mercedes-Benz and Brahms was a passenger when the car fell off the ferry, which is used to shuttle vehicles to and from the private island in Miami Beach.

Sosa said the ferries make an average of 200 trips per day and count on a safety manager with more than 30 years of experience, who regularly conducts safety drills and training exercises.

“Our hearts and prayers continue to be with the families at this time,” Sosa said.

The incident remains under investigation.

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The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.