KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – A witness recounted the immediate aftermath of Friday night’s deadly collision between two boats off Key Biscayne that left two people dead and 10 more hurt.
The two boats, described by fire officials as roughly 21 and 30 foot vessels, and collided at around 10:30 p.m. in an area near the Nixon Beach Sandbar, one mile west of Key Biscayne, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Seven people were one boat, five on the other.
A survivor notified Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders of the incident, according to the Coast Guard.
Xavier Ruiz, also on the water at the time, spoke to Local 10 News by phone Saturday.
“Some people (were) screaming in English, in Spanish, asking for help, there were seven,” Ruiz said. “They were saying that they couldn’t swim and asking for help.”
Ruiz said he called called 911 after he moved his boat closer to the crash.
“We saw a lady holding an infant and then we saw a girl who couldn’t swim so we threw some life jackets,” he said. “There was also a body, a body floating.”
In total, crews took 10 people to nearby hospitals: six victims were taken to Mercy Hospital, the other four were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Two of those four were critically hurt and rushed to Ryder Trauma Center by ground and by air.
The man who was airlifted died at the hospital.
Multiple fire rescue departments and the Coast Guard worked to find the 12th victim, a man. They searched for hours before switching to a recovery mission, later finding his body swept away from the scene.
None of the victims have been publicly identified.