Fla. Firefighters Assist with Fatal Boat Crash

MIAMI --

Two people are dead and two are injured after two boats collided Monday afternoon on Biscayne Bay.

Authorities said two boats, each carrying three people, collided shortly after 1 p.m. near Biscayne Channel. From Sky 10 overhead, a large, gaping gash could be seen in the side of one of the boats.

"I have been on a lot of boat collisions," said Mark Houghtaling, of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. "This was a serious boat collision."

"Some people ended up in the water as a result of the collision," said Jorge Pino, of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Two men were pronounced dead at the scene. One of the two deceased victims the boat's owner, Miami Beach real estate mogul Steven Posner, according to family friends. Police have not confirmed his identity, and the identity of the second deceased person was not available.

His cousin, whom friends identified as Stewart Posner, was delicately airlifted from Miami-Dade Fireboat 1.

"We loaded him up on our stokes litter, which is a litter we use, a backboard we use to hoist on(to) a helicopter, and we did an airlift off the water with the patient, and he subsequently went to Ryder Trauma Center," Houghtaling said.

Stewart Posner was listed in critical condition. A fourth man was transported to Mercy Hospital with minor injuries, and two other occupants of the boats were not hurt.

The $800,000 boats were brought to Matheson Hammock Marina. The more severely damaged boat was towed in while bilge pumps kept it from sinking.

Police said they do not know whether the boats were racing.

"We had a situation where there were two vessels that were operating at a very high rate of speed," Pino said. "We don't know if that was a cause of the accident, but somehow, the two vessels collided."

Police said there is no speed restriction in the area where the crash occurred. Investigators are interviewing witnesses as they work to determine the cause of the crash.

The Posner family is very wealthy and well known in South Florida. Steven Posner owns some of the area's premier ocean-side real estate.

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