MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – José Fernández, ace right-hander for the Miami Marlins who left Cuba to become one of Major League Baseball's brightest stars, died in a boat collision Sunday morning off Miami Beach. He was 24.
Fernández, an avid boater, was one of three who died when a 32-foot SeaVee center console boat overturned after an impact with a jetty near the harbor entrance Government Cut, authorities said.
The other two victims were Fernández's friends Eddy Rivero and Emilio Macias, both graduates of G. Holmes Braddock High School.
The U.S. Coast Guard was the first to find the boat. Debris from the crash was scattered. They notified Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and other authorities about 3:40 a.m. Police officers were also involved.
"It does appear that speed was involved due to the impact and the severity of it," FWC spokesman Lorenzo Veloz said. "It does appear to be that they were coming at full speed when they encountered the jetty, and the accident happened."
Emergency crews -- including helicopters and divers -- searched for bodies. Fernández and two of his friends were the only three they found by 4 a.m.
Two were under the boat and one was ejected and was on the jetty. Authorities said the three didn't have their life vests on. Fernández did not own the boat.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue recovered the bodies and took them to the U.S. Coast Guard station. The bodies were at the Medical Examiner's office. Fernández died of trauma and not drowning, Veloz said.
There was no indication that alcohol or illegal drugs were involved, authorities said. Crews overturned the boat and took it off the jetty to tow it to the station in Yacht Club. It was a total loss.
The FWC is the lead agency in the investigation.