Articles Posted in boating accidents

The economy has changed in many ways recently. One of those changes is that everything has become on-demand. Anyone can hail a ride through an app. Anyone can rent a room or an entire house in minutes online. Boat owners and operators in Florida noticed the trend and started to rent out their boats by the hour and day. However, while many legitimate boat and yacht operators offer their vessels for rent, Florida authorities have seen a rise in illegitimate vessels renting out their services. These vessels are often operator by individuals without captain licenses. They lack the qualifications, safety gear, and crew training to carry passengers, and because of this, avoidable accidents occur. If you and your friends or relatives were injured on a charter boat ride, and you discovered it was an illegal charter, contact a Miami boating accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. right away. You can reach us through our online form or call (877) 475-2905 to schedule a free consultation.

April 2018 Death of Cesar Meneses Linked to Illegal Charter

Last May, we wrote about the death of Cesar Meneses, who was struck by a propeller of a 91-foot combination yacht and speed boat called the Miami Vice. At the time, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was investigating the accident. The FWC discovered the Miami Vice, which Meneses and his friends had rented for his birthday, was an illegal charter boat. The boat owner had knowingly hired an unlicensed operator with a history of drug abuse. The vessel captain, Mauricio Alvarez, was not only unlicensed and lacked the training required by the U.S. Coast Guard for a vessel to carry passengers, he was entirely untrained. The Miami Vice owner hired Alvarez after watching him operate a vessel one time, according to an investigation by the Miami New Times.

On Sunday April 1, a boater near Miami went missing from the Miami Vice, a 91-foot combination yacht and speed boat that can be rented by the hour or day. At the time, there were seven guests aboard the yacht, which was operated by two crew members. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) received a call regarding the missing boat passenger that afternoon. By Monday, officials confirmed that the passenger had been killed. Preliminary information determined the passenger was in the water when the yacht captain put the vessel in reverse and was struck by the propellers. No charges have been filed yet and FWC is investigating the incident. Did you recently lose someone in a boating accident? If your spouse, parent, or child was killed in an incident with a yacht, ferry, commercial ship, or another type of vessel, do not hesitate to contact a Miami accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A.

 Florida Boating Accident Statistics

In Florida, a state surrounded by beaches and open water, personal and commercial boating accidents are not uncommon. According to FWC statistics, there were 714 reportable boating accidents in 2016. These led to 421 individual injuries. Additionally, 56 accidents were fatal, leading to 67 deaths. The main cause of fatal accidents was falling overboard. Sixteen individuals were killed after falling overboard, which was 29 percent of all fatal accidents. Whether or not the Miami Vice passenger fell overboard or intentionally jumped has yet to be determined. The most common reason for death after falling overboard is drowning (60 percent). However, other issues, such as being struck by propellers, can also be at fault.

Miami Boating Accidents Often Result in Serious Injuries

At Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., our maritime accident lawyers represent the victims of serious boating accidents and injuries.  We understand the complexities of maritime law and know how to hold negligent boat operators, manufacturers, cruise lines, marinas, and others who operate in the recreational boating industry responsible for their actions.


The recent death of Jose Fernandez gained significant attention locally and nationally. Hernandez, who was under the influence of illegal drugs and alcohol crashed his boat into a large group of rocks located on South East side of Government Cut. Accidents like these are preventable and avoidable. Hernandez’s death has resulted in a high profile wrongful death lawsuit. The allegations in that lawsuit filed in Miami Dade County Circuit Court, highlight the many dangers and types of reckless conduct that can result in boat accident fatalities.  Our injury lawyers urge all boat operators and passengers to exercise extreme caution this boating season.

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