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Fatal Boat Collision Briefly Delays Cruise Traffic at PortMiami

A U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat in Miami (USCG file image)
A U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat in Miami (USCG file image)

Published Jun 25, 2023 10:08 PM by The Maritime Executive

In the early hours of Sunday morning, a private boat collided with Miami's Fisher Island Ferry, damaging the small boat enough that it sank. 

The collision occurred on the ferry route near Dodge Island, home of Miami's bustling cruise terminals. It killed one passenger and injured the other. The second man was hospitalized in serious condition, according to the Miami Herald. 

The ferry and its three crewmembers were unharmed. 

The incident occurred in PortMiami's north shipping channel, and the U.S. Coast Guard temporarily closed the waterway within 300 yards of the casualty site so that investigators could have unimpeded access. Over the course of the morning and the early afternoon, salvage divers recovered the motorboat from the water. The channel was reopened at about 1430 hours. 

The waterway closure briefly affected the arrival times and disembarkation of passengers on the cruise ships Carnival Celebration, MSC Seascape, and Norwegian Escape, according to PortMiami. All have returned to their normal commercial operations. 

The accident is the second involving the Fisher Island ferry in three years. In February 2020, two women were killed when their car rolled off the ferry deck. Dive and salvage teams recovered the vehicle and the victims, identified as Emma Afra, 63 and Viviane Brahms, 75.