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Contact: Susan Gonshor, 305-230-1144, x3084
Contact: Didier Carod, 305-230-1144, x3075
Despite increased law enforcement presence on Biscayne Bay, this year's Columbus Day Weekend event has already been marred by two accidents, both occurring at approximately 9:00pm on Saturday, October 7, 2006. According to preliminary reports, a collision occurred when a disabled boat that was being towed was struck by a third vessel. One 20-year old female died in the accident. Four others were critically injured and three were transported to area hospitals in serious condition late Saturday night.
A less serious accident involved a single vessel that reportedly struck an obstacle in the water north of the Biscayne National Park boundary. Two of the four boaters on the vessel were treated and released while two others were uninjured.
Although both accidents occurred outside of Biscayne National Park boundaries, reports confirm that those involved were returning from the Columbus Day Weekend event. Traditionally drawing hundreds of boaters to Biscayne National Park, this three-day event has been free of fatalities since 2002 when three deaths occurred.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is continuing to investigate these accidents.