Following the tragic boating accident that left four dead off Dinner Key on the Fourth of July, trained rescue workers took up to 15 minutes to respond to the scene. The night was dark and Biscayne Bay was heavy with boat traffic. In those precious moments before professionals showed up, the victims of the crash had to rely on the help of other boaters and Good Samaritans.
The incident occurred when a 32-foot Contender ran into a 36-foot Carrera. The Miami Herald talked to passengers on a nearby sailboat who witnessed the crash and were the first to arrive on the scene.
A boat owned and piloted that night by Allan Sabatier, an executive at Del Monte Fresh Produce, was about 100 yards away when the other two boats collided.
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"We didn't think much of it until we heard kids crying and people yelling 'help,' and we saw someone in the ocean that fell off from the Contender," said Fritzie Ortiz, a nurse who was aboard the sailboat. "Then we saw tons of blood in the boat..."
The passengers of the sailboat took several survivors from the Contender aboard, including two young children who were kept in the boat's cabin to shield them from the carnage.
Ortiz meanwhile boarded the sinking vessel to check on Jason Soleimani, one of the first to be reported dead. Though it's previously been reported that Soleimani was killed on impact, witnesses say he was still breathing at that point despite gruesome injuries to his head. After his heart stopped, CPR proved unsuccessful.