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Witness reports consequences of boat collision off Key Biscayne

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – A witness reported on the immediate aftermath of Friday evening fatal collision between two boats off Key Biscayne, in which two people died and ten others were injured.

The two boats, described by fire officials as approximately 21- and 30-foot vessels, collided around 10:30 p.m. in an area near the Nixon Beach Sandbar, a mile west of Key Biscayne, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Seven people were on one boat and five on the other.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew recovered one of the bodies from the water, while a Miami-Dade fire crew flew a man to the Ryder Trauma Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

A survivor briefed Coast Guard Sector Miami guardsmen on the incident, according to the Coast Guard.

Xavier Ruiz, who was also on the water at the time, said he heard cries for help and called 911 after pulling his boat closer to the crash. He spoke to Local 10 News by phone on Saturday.

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“We saw a woman holding a toddler and then we saw a girl who couldn’t swim, so we threw in some life jackets,” he said. “There was also a body, a floating body.”

In all, crews took 10 people to nearby hospitals: six victims were taken to Mercy Hospital, and the other four to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Two of those four were seriously injured and rushed to Ryder Trauma Center by land and air.

The man being flown died in hospital.

Multiple fire departments and the Coast Guard worked to locate the 12th victim, a man. They searched for hours before switching to a recovery mission and later found his body swept away from the scene.

None of the victims have been publicly identified.

Copyright 2022 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved.

https://www.local10.com/news/local/2022/06/18/2-dead-10-hurt-witness-recounts-aftermath-of-boat-collision-off-key-biscayne/ Witness reports consequences of boat collision off Key Biscayne

Sarah Y. Kim

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