News

Details Emerge on North Key Largo Boat Crash That Killed Teenager, Injured Many

Luciana "Lucy" Fernandez, a 17-year-old senior at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, died from her injuries on Monday following the crash.
Luciana "Lucy" Fernandez, a 17-year-old senior at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, died from her injuries on Monday following the crash. Screenshot via Facebook
Around 6:30 pm on Sunday, a boat with a dozen teenage passengers was traveling down the intracoastal waterway near North Key Largo, when it crashed into a channel marker and capsized.

All fourteen people aboard were ejected from the vessel, according to a preliminary report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC). Eight were reported as injured, four of whom were airlifted to a nearby hospital for emergency treatment.

Seventeen-year-old Luciana Fernandez was fatally wounded in the crash.

The FWC report states that 51-year-old George Pino was the operator of the 29-foot Robalo vessel. He and his wife, Cecilia Pino, were chaperoning the teenagers from Elliott Key in Biscayne National Park to Ocean Reef, an upscale club community in North Key Largo, according to the report.

Pino purportedly said that he looked behind him to check on the girls after running across a large wake — and that's when the vessel violently collided with the marker, according to a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue narrative.

Though the investigation into the Labor Day weekend crash is in its early stages, FWC confirmed to New Times that alcohol is not believed to have played a role in the crash.

Many of the teenagers are longtime friends and attend the all-girl Catholic schools Our Lady of Lourdes Academy and Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in Miami.

Vigils were held Tuesday in honor of the victims and their families.

Luciana "Lucy" Fernandez

Luciana "Lucy" Fernandez, a senior at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, died from her injuries on Monday following the crash. According to WPLG-TV, she was involved in peer ministry and was a member of the cross country team.

In an Instagram post about Fernandez's death, the academy wrote that she was known for her "signature laugh" and "larger than life personality."

"Lucy was a joy to all who knew her and a shining light at our school. The hundreds of people who joined us in the grotto this evening, to pray for the repose of her soul, are a testament to her beautiful legacy of faith, love and sisterhood," the post reads. "We extend our heartfelt condolences to Lucy's parents and younger brother, as well as her family and friends, and we share in their grief during this time of great loss."



Katerina "Katy" Puig

Katerina "Katy" Puig, a senior at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, was one of the passengers airlifted to the hospital in critical condition following the crash.

A varsity soccer player for the school, Puig was named the Miami Herald Girls Soccer 7A-5A Player of the Year in April. Recent social media photos show her wakeboarding, dancing, and singing karaoke with friends.
Coco Aguilar

Coco Aguilar, one of the teenagers critically injured in the crash, attends Our Lady of Lourdes Academy alongside Puig.

A varsity soccer player for the school, she was named Second-Team All-Miami-Dade County midfielder in April, according to the Miami Herald. In 2020, Aguilar was one of five girls named to the All County Girl’s Soccer 7A-5A First Team. She previously played with Puig for The Real Miami Madrid 14U youth team, helping the team win local tournaments and secure a top ranking in the state. 

Carmen Fernandez, president of Lourdes Academy, said that Aguilar and Puig, both of whom remained in the hospital Tuesday, "are hanging in there."

"We keep praying for their recovery every single day," Fernandez said.
Cecilia and George Pino

George and Cecilia Pino, the teenagers' chaperones for the boat trip, were among those hurt in the crash, according to the FWC report. Their daughter, whose 18th birthday is today, was injured as well.

George is the president of State Street Realty, a Doral-based commercial real estate brokerage. He has worked as a real estate broker for more than 25 years and earned a reputation for closing large scale leasing and sales deals for office space and industrial parks in the Miami area, according to his professional profile.

Between 2009 and 2015, he won a broker-of-the-year award five times from the National Association for Industrial and Office Parks.

Cecilia is a marketing executive who worked at public relations firm Pantin Partnership before joining State Street Realty. She grew up in South Florida and attended University of Florida. She and her husband are associated with Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Mike Lowell Charity Foundation.

The couple have a membership at the Ocean Reef Club, where the boat was headed at the time of the crash.



KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Alex DeLuca is a staff writer at Miami New Times.
Contact: Alex DeLuca