17-Year-Old Girl Killed in Boating Accident in Florida Keys, Multiple Others Injured

by Emily Morgan

On Monday, a 17-year-old girl passed away tragically after she was involved in a boating accident near Boca Chita Island. Seven others were injured due to the incident that occurred on Sunday evening.

At around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, a 29-foot Robalo boat with 14 people on board hit a channel marker in the Intracoastal Waterway, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“All 14 occupants, which included 12 juveniles and two adults, were ejected from the vessel,” the statement read in part. “Good Samaritans and multiple responding agencies recovered the occupants from the water and transported them to land and ultimately to hospitals to receive medical attention if necessary.”

Currently, investigators don’t believe alcohol contributed to the boating accident.

Sadly, the deceased, Luciana Fernandez, died of her injuries on Monday morning, NBC Miami reported. She was a high school senior. Three other girls, Katerina Sofia Puig, 16, Coco Aguilar, 17, and Isabella Rodriguez, 17, remained in the hospital as of Tuesday.

Others injured were George Ignacio Pino, 52; Cecilia Pino, 47; Sarah Emily Gutierrez, 17; and Cecilia Lianne Pino, 17. Fernandez’s high school, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in Miami, said she had a beautiful smile.

“Known for her smile, larger-than-life personality, and signature laugh, Lucy was a joy to all who knew her and a shining light at our school,” the school wrote in a statement on Facebook.

They added: “We extend our heartfelt condolences to Lucy’s parents and younger brother, as well as her family and friends. We share in their grief during this time of great loss.”

Friends and family hold vigil for boating accident victim

After the news of her death was announced, the school held a vigil for her. Hundreds of her loved ones gathered for the memorial to the popular teen at the school on Monday night.

In addition, most people on board were students at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy and Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart. The fish and wildlife commission will also continue to investigate the crash.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue encourages those on the water to stay safe by having the proper equipment on board. This includes a working VHS radio as well as life jackets for everyone onboard.

Fernandez is survived by her parents, Andy and Meli Fernandez, and her brother. Alexandra Diaz taught Fernandez theology during her first year. She also got to know her more through the years, and the two shared a strong bond.

“We were very close all three years,” she said. She added, “She was really trying to make it a mission for this year to make sure that all those in her grade and school just know that they were loved.”