Home / National News / Coast Guard won't install new lights where Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez crashed


(MIAMI) — The U.S. Coast Guard won’t install warning lights on a Florida jetty where Miami Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez crashed his boat, killing himself and two other passengers last year.

The Coast Guard announced its decision in a press release Thursday, saying the existing color-coded, lighted buoys and lighted range markers were “sufficient.”

During an early morning trip on Sept. 25, 2016, the boat carrying Fernandez, 24, Eduardo Rivero, 25 and Emilio Macias, 27, slammed into a jetty off the coast of Miami Beach, killing all three men. Images from the scene of the deadly crash showed Fernandez’s 32-foot center console SeaVee overturned atop the jagged jetty.

A lengthy investigation by the Florida Wildlife and Conservation Commission concluded in March that Fernandez was under the influence of cocaine and alcohol and he was behind the wheel when the boat, traveling more than 65 mph, crashed into the jetty at the southern end of Miami Beach.

“Fernandez’s impairment and manner of operation caused the accident, which resulted in his death and the death of his occupants, Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Macias,” the commission concluded in the 46-page report.

Miami Marlins president David Samson responded to the commission’s final report on the crash in a statement to ABC News at the time, saying: “No matter what the report has concluded, nothing will ever diminish Jose’s everlasting positive connection with Miami and the Miami Marlins. Nor can it lessen the love and passion he felt for his family, friends, teammates and all his fans in South Florida and around the world.”

The deadly crash prompted calls from local and state officials as well as boaters for the Coast Guard to place navigational lights on the unlit jetty, saying it posed a serious threat.

But after an analysis that began last fall, the Coast Guard determined that installing new lights could possibly create confusion between the existing ones and thus impair safe navigation.

“The Coast Guard takes its Aids to Navigation mission very seriously and strives to provide the most effective and safest navigable waterways to the public and commercial mariner communities,” Capt. Megan Dean, commander of the Coast Guard Sector Miami, said in a statement Thursday. “We cannot stress enough to all waterway users to adhere to existing channel aids and use all available means to navigate safely on the water.”

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