All 14 people aboard a boat that crashed off the Florida Keys over Labor Day weekend were ejected from the vessel, according to the first official report on Tuesday.
On Sunday night, the 29-foot Robalo center console boat hit a channel marker in Broad Creek, a waterway in the Upper Keys, killing a teen and injuring several others. The vessel capsized after impact, investigators said.
Nearby boaters and the crews on law enforcement and fire-rescue boats plucked the passengers from the water and brought them to land.
Four teenage girls were seriously injured and taken to several Miami-Dade County hospitals, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the lead agency investigating the crash, said in its initial accident report.
The next day, Luciana Fernandez, known as Lucy to family and friends, died from her injuries.
Three other girls, Katerina Sofia Puig, 16, Coco Aguilar, 17, and Isabella Rodriguez, 17, remained in the hospital as of Tuesday.
Others injured in the crash, according to the report, are the boat’s driver, George Ignacio Pino, 52, Cecilia Pino, 47, Sarah Emily Gutierrez, 17, and Cecilia Lianne Pino, 17.
George Pino is the president of the Doral-based commercial real estate brokerage company State Street Realty, where his wife, Cecilia, also is an executive. He’s also a member of the Ocean Reef Club and the Orange Bowl Committee.
FWC investigators said in the report that the crash does not appear to be alcohol related.
According to the report, Pino had just departed Elliott Key and was headed to Ocean Reef, an exclusive gated community and resort in north Key Largo, when the boat ran into the green Intracoastal Waterway Marker 15, which is the last marker in a small channel called Cutter Bank.
Several people who know those who were on the boat said the passengers told them a larger vessel may have been headed right toward Pino’s vessel before it hit the channel marker. That boat left the area after the crash, according to sources.
Arielle Callender, an FWC spokeswoman, declined to comment on the possibility of another boat’s involvement.
“As this is an active investigation, this is the only information I have at this point,” Callender said.
The crash report said that arrests were “pending.”
The tragedy shook the close-knit Miami-Dade Catholic school community because most, and possibly all, of the teens attend either Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in Coconut Grove or Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in Southwest Miami-Dade.
Lourdes held several events in memory of Lucy Fernandez since it was announced she had died, including a vigil Monday night at the school where hundreds of people tearfully gathered to pray the Rosary.
“She was a young woman of faith, well liked by her teachers and peers, empathetic, faithful and hungry for God,” Carmen T. Fernández, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy president, wrote in an email to students and parents. “And though her sudden passing is heartbreaking and has come as a shock to us all, I have absolutely no doubt that Lucy was ready to meet our Lord and enter his Kingdom.”
Meanwhile, friends, student peers, teachers, coaches and community members continued to pray for the other girls injured in the crash.
Both Katerina Sofia Puig and Coco Aguilar are standout players on the Lourdes soccer team, their coach, David Fique said Tuesday.
“Coco and Katy are a very important part of our team,” Lourdes coach David Fique said in a statement he sent to the Miami Herald. “They’ve been in varsity since their freshman year; both have attended three state finals and have won one.”
Aguilar was named Second-Team All-Miami-Dade County midfielder in April.
“The way she worked defensively was key for us in big games last season,” Fique said. “Her smile is contagious, and she is very loved by the group.”
Puig finished her junior year with eight goals and four assists, yet she came through in the most important moments for Lourdes to help the Bobcats reach the state semifinals for the third straight year and finish as the runners-up in Class 6A.
“I don’t see myself as a top scorer,” Puig said at the time. “I kind of see myself as the person that makes the pass to the scorer and motivating to the team. From the outside in, you can’t really see that I’m out there, but I’m the person that I can connect everyone.”
She was named First-team All-Miami-Dade midfielder and Dade County Player of the Year for the 2021-2022 season.
“It is my privilege to coach these girls and have them on my roster,” Fique said.