MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Rescue crews took six people to the hospital after, officials said, a fishing boat crashed into a dock near Normandy Shores, injuring most of the passengers on board, Saturday evening.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Florida Fish and Wildlife crews responded to the scene of the accident near the 1100 block of South Shore Drive, on Miami Beach. Miami Beach Fire Rescue also assisted.
The dock belongs to Kevin Brill, who said he could not believe his eyes when he saw the 26-foot vessel full of people slam into the structure, his home on the water.
Brill said he spoke with the boat’s driver shortly after the crash. “His rendition of the story was that he was driving and that a boat cut him off,” he said.
A neighbor shot drone video of the aftermath, showing rescue boats surrounding the broken vessel.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Scott Mullin specified the number of people who sustained injuries and how many were transported. “There were over nine people on the boat, eight to nine people. Six of those turned out to be patients,” he said. “Four of those turned out to be trauma alerts.”
Mullin said there was not much the passengers could do to brace themselves for the crash. “Unfortunately, in a boat, you don’t have any real way to secure yourself, so when you do get in an accident, you’re gonna go moving. Your vital organs are going to get damaged.”
Officials said maritime conditions were less than ideal in a worst-case scenario. “As windy as it is, and as rough as it is, any speed would be bad to hit [a structure] because you’re coming to a sudden stop,” said Mullin.
Paramedics airlifted one victim with critical injuries to Ryder Trauma Center. Crews took the others by ground to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Officials said three of these patients are listed in serious condition.
“It’s unfortunate. God willing, hopefully the passengers that were injured, they come out OK, and that’s all we could hope for,” said Brill.
The dock owner added that the accident also serves as a cautionary tale for boaters. “Maybe some of these boaters should get trained properly, and there should be a lesson learned,” said Brill.
Investigators towed the vessel to a dock in Miami in two separate pieces.
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