High speed probably a factor in boat death of US sports star

High speed was likely a factor in the boat crash that killed Miami Marlins baseball team pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was found dead early on Sunday morning.

Fernandez was one of three people killed when their 32-foot SeaVee centre console hit the rocks and capsized on the north jetty at Government Cut, near Miami Beach. It was apparently heading south at the time. A routine US Coast Guard patrol spotted the wreckage at about 3.15am Sunday

There was no indication of alcohol or illegal drugs, said Officer Lorenzo Veloz of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, adding that, given the severity of impact, it looked as if high speed had been a factor.

Divers found two people inside or under the boat and one in the water on the south side of the jetty. None was wearing a life jacket, Veloz said.

The boat was owned by one of the other two men who died, and the owner often took Marlins players out on the boat, Veloz said. Officials noted that its operator was familiar with the area.

Captain Rand Pratt of Sea Tow said that the biggest danger coming into Government Cut was background lighting. “You have to pick markers out of the background, and when looking at city late at night, it’s amazing how many bright lights look like navigation lights.”