The pilot of a personal watercraft died Sunday after colliding with a pleasure boat carrying singer Gloria Estefan and her producer-husband, Emilio.
The Estefans, who were the only people aboard the 33-foot vessel, weren’t injured. A passenger on the personal watercraft was hospitalized in stable condition with bruises to her head.
The accident off trendy South Beach apparently was not the fault of Emilio Estefan, who was piloting the boat, said Capt. Mike Lamphear of the Florida Marine Patrol. The boat was traveling less than 20 mph about a quarter-mile offshore.
“Both Mr. and Mrs. Estefan were absolutely devastated by the accident,” Lamphear said. “Mrs. Estefan tonight is very, very upset, and she’s doing the best she can to handle a terribly serious situation.”
The watercraft was sent airborne after hitting the pleasure boat’s wake. The craft struck the rear of the Estefans’ boat and threw the pilot onto the boat’s propeller, Lamphear said.
The man operating the watercraft, identified only as a Howard University student, died instantly of severe head and chest wounds. The female passenger also was identified only as Howard University student.