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Watersports safety in Biscayne Bay after teen’s tragic death – NBC 6 South Florida

The area of ​​Biscayne Bay where a 15-year-old girl was fatally struck by a boat while wake-boarding is a busy canal where dangerous boating accidents are common.

The death of 15-year-old Ella Riley Adler raises questions about whether more should be done to make the area safer.

WATER TRAGEDY

According to a report released Wednesday by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Adler was struck and killed about 4 p.m. Saturday about a mile west of Mashta Point in Key Biscayne.

According to the report, Adler was one of 14 people traveling on a 42-foot-long Hanse Fjord Walk-Around operated by a 30-year-old man.



The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is continuing its search for a boat after a girl was struck and killed in Biscayne Bay on Saturday.

Investigators said Adler was on a wakeboard with another person who was on a wake surfboard near Nixon Beach when they both fell into the water at the same time.

Adler was a little further away from the boat she was towing than the other person when she was fatally struck by another 42-foot boat that failed to stop, the report said.

THE INVESTIGATION

Almost immediately after the incident, authorities began searching for the boat that hit Adler.

Witnesses told the FWC that the boat was a light blue center console with possibly blue or dark blue bottom paint and three or four white outboard motors.

A boat matching that description was later found docked behind a home in the Hammock Oaks neighborhood of Coral Gables, FWC officials said Tuesday.

FWC officials later took the boat, a 42-foot Boston Whaler, into custody and transported it to their offices.

On Wednesday, FWC officials identified the boat’s owner as 78-year-old Carlos Guillermo Alonso, the resident of the home where it was found.



The boater involved in the death of a 15-year-old girl who was struck and killed in Biscayne Bay over the weekend has been identified. NBC6’s Lorena Inclan reports

Investigators said Alonso was piloting the boat and was the only occupant at the time of the incident.

The FWC report does not mention whether he could face charges, and it is unclear whether alcohol was a factor in the accident, as the section of the report that mentions whether it was alcohol-related is marked “unknown.” “ is marked.

In a statement Wednesday, FWC officials said Alonso is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

The boater’s lawyer speaks

Alonso’s attorney, Lauren Field Krasnoff, spoke with NBC6 on Wednesday evening. She said he had no idea he hit anyone on the water.

“We do not know at this time whether (Alonso) or his boat was involved in the crash,” she said. “If his boat was involved, I can tell you he had absolutely no idea this happened that day. He’s as devastated as anyone can be.”



The lawyer for the man identified by investigators as the operator of the boat that struck and killed Ella Riley Adler in Biscayne Bay over the weekend has spoken out. NBC6’s Ryan Nelson reports

Krasnoff also reiterated that Alonso is cooperating with the investigation.

“He moored his boat in plain sight and, most importantly, he was cooperative with law enforcement and anyone who needed to investigate what happened on the water that day,” Krasnoff said. “He had no contact with the criminal system. He doesn’t drink, and he didn’t drink that Saturday.

NIXON BEACH SAFETY

Nixon Beach, a popular spot known for its party atmosphere, is no stranger to similar incidents in the past.

According to NBC6’s reporting, there have been at least five incidents near the sandbar since 2013 that resulted in injuries or deaths.

And although the area near Mashta Point is heavily trafficked by ships, it is also a popular area for wakeboarding and other water sports.

A map of Nixon Beach and Mashta Point

Capt. Mike Brill, a Miami-based boating expert, said manatee regulations and areas without wake zones have forced more people to use busy canals for water sports.

He said something needed to be done to create a safer area.

“I don’t think water skiing is dangerous, but we need a safe place to do it. So the safest thing we could do would be to establish designated water sports areas,” Brill said.

Organizers of this weekend’s SoFlo Boat Show held a news conference Thursday to discuss boating safety and announce a new initiative focused on their efforts.



As the South Florida Boat Show prepares to kick off this weekend, a boating safety press conference was held in Key Biscayne.

“We want to not only promote boating safety and practices, but also create a lasting culture of responsibility and awareness that resonates throughout the community,” said Nelson Albareda, CEO of Loud and Live.

TEEN mourns

Adler, a student at Ransom Everglades School, was an accomplished ballet artist and ballerina in The Nutcracker, where he performed in over 100 performances with the Miami City Ballet at the Adrienne Arsht Center.

In addition to being a member of the Ransom Everglades dance team, she was also a member of the Jewish Student Association and the speech and debate team.

Her grandfather, Michael M. Adler, the U.S. ambassador to Belgium.

Her family has received strong support from the South Florida community and across the country following her death, including from First Lady Jill Biden, who visited the family for a shiva call earlier this week.

Her family later released a statement regarding her death.

“The world lost a star this weekend. Ella was beautiful and radiantly beamed. “In her 15 years, she has given us more light than we could have ever imagined,” the family said. “As we come to terms with this unspeakable tragedy, we ask the public to allow us privacy in our grief.” We would also like to thank law enforcement for their hard work and dedication in helping to bring some closure to this terrible loss. “



Ella Adler’s family broke their silence and released a statement on the tragedy that claimed the 15-year-old’s life. NBC6’s Ryan Nelson reports

Alonso’s lawyer said he was also praying for the family.

“This is the worst tragedy imaginable,” Krasnoff said. “We are devastated for the Adlers, for their friends, for their family – there is no doubt in our minds that this is an absolutely terrible thing and we are praying for their family and friends and thinking of them at this time.”

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