Another Bloody Boat Crash Brings Biscayne Bay Death Count to Seven So Far in 2014

Another holiday weekend. Another boating death on Biscayne Bay.

In what is becoming a sick refrain in this city, a young woman was killed on Saturday when one boat struck another in Biscayne Bay. The Columbus Day weekend collision follows several other similar accidents, including a brutal July 4 crash that killed four, and raises to seven the number of people killed this year on Biscayne Bay.

See also: DJ Laz and the Dinner Key Boating Disaster: Too Many Watery Deaths

The fatal crash occurred around 10 p.m. on Saturday when two boats collided about three and a half miles southwest of Biscayne Channel, according to the Miami Herald.

According to the Herald, a 63-foot Sea Ray yacht struck a 27-foot fishing boat, upending the smaller vessel and dumping its three passengers into the black water. Killed in the crash was 29-year-old Maria Del Valle. The fishing boat's two other passengers were injured. No one on the yacht was hurt.

The deadly accident occurred despite increased safety measures in the wake of previous water calamities. On July 4, a boozy, three-boat collision killed four young Miamians. Two months earlier, a 23-year-old security guard was sucked into the propellers of a boat driven by local celebrity DJ Laz.

The two incidents spurred authorities to launch a special task force to crack down on drunken and dangerous boating.

More than 25 police and Coast Guard boats were on the water this weekend, Key Biscayne Police Chief Charles Press told the Herald.

"We were not out there sightseeing," he said. "We were out there taking care of business."

It's unclear if alcohol played a role in Saturday's accident.

Officials have said they found signs of alcohol on the boats involved in the July 4 crash, but have not released sobriety test results nor charged anyone in the incident.

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.

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