Surviving Victims of Fatal Florida Keys Boating Accident Tread Water for 20 Hours

MIAMI, FL— October 12, 2011 – A horrific boating accident in the Florida Keys resulted in the death of an elderly Hialeah woman and left seven additional victims, including a 4-year-old child, treading water for nearly an entire day. According to information provided by NBC Miami, a 22-foot vessel sank off Long Key, in close proximity to the Tennessee Reef Lighthouse, at approximately 12 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9.

Investigators from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation are conducting a full probe into the Florida Keys accident that resulted in the drowning death of 79-year-old Zaida San Jurjo Gonzalez. The boat operator and six other passengers, all of whom are related to one another, were only rescued approximately 20 hours after the boat capsized. Reports suggested that the boat sank upon being hit by a big wave off the coast of South Florida.

Both U.S. Coast Guard personnel and boat captain David Jensen helped rescue the survivors, one of whom was identified as 4-year-old Fabiana De Armas Lima, following the boat’s capsize. Authorities identified the remaining surviving victims as Hialeah residents Elena G. Gonzalez, 52, and Juglar Riveras, 34, and Royal Palm Beach residents Jorge Alejo Gonzalez, 62, Tomasa Torres Gonzalez, 57, Jose Miguel De Armas, 40, and Yunisleidy Lima Tejada, 25. The FWC aided in rescue missions.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s 2010 boating accidents statistical report, drowning was the cause of death for 62 percent of the 79 individuals who lost their lives in recreational boating accidents in Florida (a total of 49 victims) that year. Thirty-four percent of victims (27 people) died from trauma-related injuries, and the cause of death for the remaining four percent of victims (three people) remained unidentified.

About the Miami cruise ship injury lawyers and boat accident attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A.

With four decades of experience litigating the multifaceted personal injury and wrongful death claims of boat and cruise line passengers who are hurt or assaulted onboard, the knowledgeable Florida boating accident lawyers of Gerson & Schwartz are dedicated to protecting the rights of these individuals and fighting to provide them with the compensation they deserve. Working closely with the National Center for Victims of Crime, the Miami personal injury attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. strive to provide justice to individuals who suffer serious injuries in a wide variety of boating accidents.

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