Officials warn boaters following weekend accidents

MIAMI (WSVN) - First responders are encouraging boaters to take extra precautions following a string of boating accidents that occurred Saturday and Sunday.

“With the Memorial Day weekend coming up, we really want to encourage and promote safety and awareness,” said Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll. “Be aware of your surroundings.”

A personal watercraft collided with a boat just off the coast of Miami, near Picnic Islands around 3 p.m., Sunday afternoon.

“We’ve had numerous calls with collisions like this, but we’ve never had one where the watercraft actually hit somebody that was on the boat,” said Carroll.

A woman and a man on the personal watercraft were knocked unconscious due to the crash but were rescued by the boaters, according to MFR.

Those injured were rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Early that morning, in Southwest Miami-Dade, children suffered serious burns after an explosion on a boat near Black Point Marina, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

“It is believed that the engine compartment flashed due to fumes that were emanating from the engine compartment,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Felipe Lay.

One adult and one child were airlifted to JMH while two children were taken by ambulance to Kendall Regional Medical Center, all suffering serious burns.

Saturday night, four people were rushed to Broward Health Medical Center, after two boats collided in Fort Lauderdale on the intercoastal waterway. The incident occurred near Northeast 32nd Avenue. One man fell of a boat and hit his head.

“There are several injuries, and they are extensive enough to be transported to the hospital,” said Tyson Matthews of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“It’s really sad, honestly. People should be more careful,” said Gabi Downey, a witness. “I’m not exactly sure why they didn’t have their headlights on.”

Investigators are looking into all three weekend incidents.

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