Police Identify Victims of Fisher Island Ferry Accident

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Published Feb 21, 2020 7:24 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Miami-Dade Police Department has identified the two women who died when their car fell off the ferry to Fisher Island, an exclusive private development adjacent to PortMiami's Dodge Island. 

Fisher Island is accessed by a single ferry route, which operates on a short run along Government Cut between the MacArthur Causeway and the island. On Tuesday, in circumstances which are still under investigation, a blue 2019 Mercedes-Benz rolled off the ferry and into the water, coming to rest about 50 feet below the surface. 

Dive and salvage teams recovered the bodies of the two occupants, along with the vehicle. On Thursday, police identified the victims as Emma Afra, 63 and Viviane Brahms, 75. Afra was a well-known member of the Miami social scene and was active with philanthropic work.

In a statement, the Fisher Island Community Association (FICA) expressed its condolences. “The entire Fisher Island Community mourns their loss, and our hearts and prayers go out to their families and loved ones at this very difficult time,” FICA said. 

The association said that it was the ferry's first safety incident in decades of operation. It said that it will conduct a safety review, and it asked drivers using the vessel to ensure that their vehicles are in park, that their emergency brakes are on and that they follow crewmembers' instructions.

The U.S. Coast Guard has launched a marine safety investigation to determine the cause of the casualty.