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Old 10-12-2006, 02:08 PM
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Default Miami Accident ..

COLUMBUS DAY WEEKEND BOAT CRASH
Boat propellers killed two friendsThe two boaters who were killed in a crash on Biscayne Bay over the weekend died of massive head injuries.
By LUISA YANEZ
[email protected]

DIED THIS WEEKEND: Monica Burgera, 20, a Florida International University student and James Noel Pou, 23, who graduated last year died in a boat crash. The two young people who perished in a weekend boating accident on Biscayne Bay were killed by the propellers of the powerboat that slammed into their rental.

The cause of death for both is the same: massive injuries to the head, the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office said Wednesday. Although the investigation into the boat crash is far from complete, the autopsies offer graphic details of the horrific accident.

They also indicate the boat that struck the victims might have been traveling so fast it became airborne, either flying low over the victims' boat, or its propellers landing inside it.

Killed were Monica Burguera, 20, a Florida International University student who lived on Brickell, and James Noel-Pou, 23, of Doral, who graduated last year. Both hailed from Puerto Rico and were out for a day of boating with a group of friends during the weekend's Columbus Day Regatta.

The day of fun ended in tragedy when their rented 22-foot Sea Ray was struck by a 35-foot Intrepid whose pilot may not have seen them as their boat was towed back to port after breaking down.

The captain of the powerboat that hit them has been identified as Roland Desrochers, 30, of Miami Beach. He did not return telephone calls to his office Wednesday.

Desrochers works at H.I.G. Capital, a private equity firm based on Brickell Bay Drive. He and his passengers were not injured.

Seven others on the 22-foot Sea Ray were injured, some critically.

Burguera, who was with her boyfriend, died at the scene.

Noel-Pou was flung into the bay. In the chaos, no one noticed him missing. His body was found floating by a boater on Monday.

The accident took place about 9 p.m. Saturday night, on a bay lit by a full moon, within view of the city.

The rental boat had broken down -- either engine problems or a dead battery. The passengers asked friends in another boat to tow them back to the Miami Beach marina where they had rented it.

Their friends in the second boat, a 21-foot Sea Ray, tossed them a line. Along the way, they picked up a second disabled boat, a 15-foot Bayliner.

TEEN AT HELM

At the helm of the towing boat was a 16-year-old, authorities said. Because of his age, The Miami Herald is not naming him.

As they inched across the bay headed toward the Rickenbacker Causeway, the Intrepid crossed the procession and collided with the middle boat.

Investigators with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission say the boats may not have had proper navigational lights. Even though the two disabled boats didn't have power, it should have been up to the boaters to make sure they were visible to other boats.

''There is an array of nautical rules that we need to see whether they were or were not followed,'' said Jorge Pino, spokesman for the agency. ``Everything is being investigated, from proper permits, to speed, to lighting and to the consumption of alcohol.''

The age of the boy towing the boat may also be a factor.

In Florida waters, there is no age restriction to operate a boat and a driver's license is not required. However, anyone younger than 21 must take a boating-safety class.

It's unclear if the 16-year-old had undergone such training -- which would include instruction on towing rules.

''Investigators are looking to see if his name shows up among those who have taken the class,'' Pino said.

NO CHARGES

No charges have been filed in the accident.

Club Nautico, which rented one of the boats involved, on Wednesday referred calls to attorney Jorge Ramos.

''Now that this is a criminal investigation, all we can say is that we feel horrible about the accident. It's a tragic thing,'' Ramos said.

Miami attorney Angel Castillo Jr., spokesman for the family of Noel-Pou, said his ashes are being flown to Puerto Rico, his homeland, today.
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Miami Accident ..

How sad - we had a similiar accident on the San Jac about 20 yrs ago that killed 13 - many friends of the family. One boat was towing another - the lead boat had no lights - another boat coming the other direction thought he could miss the broken boat (who had lights) to only run directly over the tow boat and literally land in the broken boat. If I'm not confident people will see the boat I'm towing at night - they can drop anchor and well get it in the morning. Way too many rookies out late - running too fast - drinking way too much. Making sharp turns to get out of someones way just isn't possible when you have one in tow.

Prayers to all the families.......

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Old 10-12-2006, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: Miami Accident ..

9 people on a 22 Sea Ray? That's over capacity no doubt!

double tow?

2nd time I've heard perhaps no nav lights. Dead battery? From playing the radio full blast all day?

was there an experienced boater even in that crowd?

Were any of the survivors/operators sobriety checked?

Even under tow there's an operator...to be held accountable for the safety of passengers.

There's a picture being painted here...

this is tragic no doubt. Young people having fun... nothing wrong with that, but ALOT of other things wrong contributing to the black eye on the rest of us

I'll bet anything the renting marina gets named in a suit pronto. To me that's justifiable if they saw 9 persons get aboard that boat, or should've seen to it that wasn't the case. Safety gear count?
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Miami Accident ..

Sorry to go somewhat off topic regarding this tragedy:
But does anyone know:
Is a towed boat required to have running lights (red/green/360 white) or just the 360 white anchor light. I actually called the MO WP because I tow a RIB behind my cruiser, and they did not know.
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Miami Accident ..

I would say full nav. The towed vessel is "underway" even if not on it's own power.

Makes sense right?
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Miami Accident ..

Is a double tow even legal, I don't have my Chapmans handy???
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Miami Accident ..

Side lights and a stern light only.
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Miami Accident ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by METAL BROS RACING
Is a double tow even legal, I don't have my Chapmans handy???
Not illegal...The aftermost boat would be required to display proper lights
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Old 10-12-2006, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Miami Accident ..

side lights? how long ago was that written? very few boats have "cat eye" lights anymore. Combo nav. Like I said nav lights ON.
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Old 10-13-2006, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Miami Accident ..

hit the middle boat at speed? even if at worst case the boats were not properly lit, why would you run at speed in the dark. Too many unknowns in the water to risk it. If he couldnt see a procession of 80 feet of boats, what else would he miss. Undoubtedly there will likely be charges and definitely a healthy sum of dinero to change hands.
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