Victims of Dinner Key Boat Crash Relied on Help From Good Samaritans

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Following the tragic boating accident that left four dead off Dinner Key on the Fourth of July, trained rescue workers took up to 15 minutes to respond to the scene. The night was dark and Biscayne Bay was heavy with boat traffic. In those precious moments before professionals showed up, the victims of the crash had to rely on the help of other boaters and Good Samaritans.

See also: Alcohol Confirmed in Dinner Key Boat Crash; Questions Abound

The incident occurred when a 32-foot Contender ran into a 36-foot Carrera. The Miami Herald talked to passengers on a nearby sailboat who witnessed the crash and were the first to arrive on the scene.

A boat owned and piloted that night by Allan Sabatier, an executive at Del Monte Fresh Produce, was about 100 yards away when the other two boats collided.

"We didn't think much of it until we heard kids crying and people yelling 'help,' and we saw someone in the ocean that fell off from the Contender," said Fritzie Ortiz, a nurse who was aboard the sailboat. "Then we saw tons of blood in the boat..."

The passengers of the sailboat took several survivors from the Contender aboard, including two young children who were kept in the boat's cabin to shield them from the carnage.

Ortiz meanwhile boarded the sinking vessel to check on Jason Soleimani, one of the first to be reported dead. Though it's previously been reported that Soleimani was killed on impact, witnesses say he was still breathing at that point despite gruesome injuries to his head. After his heart stopped, CPR proved unsuccessful.

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James G. Camp
James G. Camp

I'll go one further on this, unconscious and drowned, this is not a case of hypothermia in icy cold waters that saves anyone either. When the oxygen to their brains stopped, they were on the clock to revive a lifeless body. But let's say they do find them. How long without oxygenated blood flow are these people hopelessly retarded deprived of that blood supply ? You've been watching too many Kevin Costner USCG movies where he saves everyone, plucking them one by one from the sea ?

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Lazaro, nightfall had fallen, the fireboat arrives like any other boat that was already there and the only way they find those kids in the water is by accidentally running over them. They were unconscious and not treading water, at best they were bobbing up and down. Any of them wearing life vests ? I'll answer that for you, NO.

Lara Mars
Lara Mars

I just pray for the souls lost; perhaps it could have been prevented........I guess we will have to wait until investigators gather more information from the those recovering in the hospital, and other evidence from witnesses, etc.

Cary Cary
Cary Cary

Fireboats would have made a difference in getting the victims help faster than they did. When Tori was plucked from the sea at 7am, her body was still warm, meaning that she was alive for hours before being found...I don't care who's at fault...the point is that the fireboats would have helped the victims sooner and perhaps saved at least two of the lives. The victim from NY was still breathing when the crew of the sailboat reached them and one of them, a nurse, administered CPR. If he would have received timely help, he too would have possibly survived.


Boating at night is tough, tons of people driving in all directions makes it even more difficult

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Sad there are those that will try to manipulate a story to get more funding for a rescue boat that wouldn't have saved any more lives than what were not going to die in the tragedy. You know they had a rescue helicopter there in a fraction of the time any boat would be able to arrive. Any boat that assisted was already there. A fireboat (wsvn 7 news story) doesn't save the moron who can't drive a boat responsibly. Let it go, nothing changes here. I feel for the families/survivors, but pointing blame today doesn't change reality. I will fight funding the fire boats simply because this an irrational reaction at this point. Really, Mayor Gimenez is to blame ?

Tony Prieto
Tony Prieto

Mayor Gimenez is to blame for a lack of rescue boats out there.

miamitrev2 topcommenter

Clearly you dont care who was at fault since you are trying to blame the County now.     Get drunk and plow into another boat at a high rate of speed displaying a wonton disregard for anyone but yourself?  Thats ok.       Not having copious amounts of fire boats to clean up the mess you;ve created?  Lawsuit time!

Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

And how did you come to that ridiculous conclusion?

Seriously....Was he at the helm?  Was he the one drinking?  Was he the one acting irresponsible?  How would 2 fireboats to cover 429 square miles of Biscayne Bay and 40+ miles of Atlantic Coastline suppose to be there at that moment?  Hmmm?

No.  The only person(s) responsible are those who caused the accident.  To blame anyone else is just more moronic, Nanny State, drivel.

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