Marlins Ace Pitcher José Fernández Dies In Tragic Boating Accident
Miami Marlins ace pitcher José Fernández died early Sunday morning in a boating accident. He was 24.
Three people, including Fernández, were killed in the crash, off Government Cut between Miami Beach and Fisher Island, according to Florida officials.
“A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Miami was heading out on a law enforcement patrol at approximately 3:30 a.m. Sunday when they passed a jetty along Government Cut and discovered an overturned 33-foot center console boat on the jetty with three deceased aboard,” the Coast Guard said.
The athlete’s team also confirmed the news in a statement saying, “The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”
Sunday’s home game against the Atlanta Braves has been canceled.
The tragic loss to the baseball world came only days after the late athlete announced on social media that was expecting his first child.
“I’m so glad you came into my life. I’m ready for where this journey is gonna take us together. #familyfirst,” Fernández wrote alongside a photo of his pregnant girlfriend.
Lorenzo Veloz, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said that there was no indication of alcohol or illegal drugs. But they do believe that speed was a factor in the severity of the impact.
The names of the two other victims have not yet been released by authorities as they are still notifying their next of Kin. They were able to confirm that the other victims were males between the ages of 24 and 27 and that neither were professional athletes.
None of the victims were wearing a life jacket, Veloz said.
Fernández’s story is an inspiring one because, after numerous attempts to leave Cuba which resulted in jail time, he finally defected to the United States in 2008 when he was 15. In that final and successful attempt, 15-year-old Fernández jumped into the ocean to save his mother, who had gone overboard after their boat had hit large waves.
He was then drafted in 2011 by the Miami Marlins and went on to be named National League Rookie of the Year 2013 and a two-time All-Star.
Fans, teammates and celebrities alike are all mourning the death of the 24-year-old baseball star on social media.
Vine star LeJuan James shared a photo of himself with Fernández saying, “I’m devastated & heartbroken. I can not believe you are gone my friend… This is so hurtful to my family and I. @JoFez16 has always shown me nothing but love and support. I’m so sad to see you go my brother. Words can’t describe how I feel right now. My condolences to his family and the @Marlins organization. #RIP.”
Fernández’s teammate Giancarlo Staton shared a moving post. “I’m still waiting to wake up from this nightmare. I lost my brother today and can’t quite comprehend it. The shock is overwhelming. What he meant to me, our team, the city of Miami, Cuba & everyone else in the world that his enthusiasm/heart has touched can never be replaced. I can’t fathom what his family is going through because We, as his extended Family are a wreck. I gave him the nickname Niño because he was just a young boy amongst men, yet those men could barely compete with him,” Staton captioned the photo. “He had his own level, one that was changing the game. EXTRAORDINARY, as a person before the player. Yet still just a kid, who’s joy lit up the stadium more than lights could. A kid whose time came too soon. One that I will miss & never forget. Rest In Peace Niño, Jose Fernandez”