Woman dies in boating crash off Elliot Key

Giovanna Patricia Santos dies; 2 critically injured

By Jacey Birch - Anchor/Animal Advocate

MIAMI - A woman is dead and two men were critically injured in a boating crash off Elliot Key Sunday night.

Authorities identified the victim Monday as Giovanna Patricia Santos, 37. She died after the 23-foot boat she was in crashed into a 36-foot boat that was anchored about 10:20 p.m.

Felipe Escobar, 45, the boat operator, and Jason Carvalho, 30, a passenger, were critically injured.

Santos and Escobar were born in Colombia. Santos was from Bogota and Escobar is from Cali. The two were friends on Facebook, and shared photos on a boat with several friends.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino said Monday morning that they were investigating the cause of the crash. 

Florida wildlife officials are urging boaters to keep safe while out on the water this Memorial Day weekend.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Saturday its officers responded to 236 accidents this year, including 11 fatalities. Out of last year's 62 boating fatalities, 38 were due to drowning.

The commission offered these basic tips for boating safety: Plan ahead and pay attention. Boat operators need to keep an eye on their surroundings, including weather, waves, wildlife and objects like waterway markers, docks and other boats.

The FWC reports that boat operators failing to pay attention remains the leading cause for boating accidents. FWC officers patrol waterways to check that boaters have the appropriate gear and are operating safely.

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