Pelican Harbor Wreck Leads To Sixth Boating Death in Biscayne Bay This Summer

This weekend saw yet another death in a summer of tragedy on Biscayne Bay.

Around 4:45 p.m. yesterday 39-year-old Jose Daniel Napoles was killed after the boat he was driving crashed into a pier at a small island across from Pelican Harbor then catapulted into a seawall, Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesman Jorge Pino tells Riptide.

"We don't know why, but he ended up colliding with the dock on the island side, which caused him to go unconscious," Pino says.

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

Napoles was ejected from the boat after the second collision. City of Miami Fire Rescue arrived on the scene after roughly 15 minutes, Pino said, and were able to locate Napoles and pull him from the water. Repeated CPR attempts were unsuccessful, and Napoles was pronounced dead at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

At the time of the crash Napoles was alone on the boat, although he was on his way to ferry family members from the island back to the Bay side of the harbor.

See also: Dinner Key Tragedy: Advocates Say Florida Could Save Lives With One Simple Safety Law

The death marked the sixth high-profile Biscayne Bay boating death just this summer. Almost exactly one month ago four were killed and several seriously injured when, on the night of the Fourth of July, a 32' Contender powerboat slammed into the side of a 36' Carrera. Two months earlier a 23-year-old bodyguard, Ernesto Hernandez, was killed by the whirling propellers of a boat operated by radio personality DJ Laz. To date no charges have been filed from either of the two tragedies.

The cause for yesterday's crash, including whether or not alcohol played a role, is under investigation, Pino said. "We won't know that for at least a month or two," he said.

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Trevor Bach

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