Miami Beach Asks Coast Guard to Improve Safety of Government Cut Jetty

South Pointe

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Miami Beach Asks Coast Guard to Improve Safety of Government Cut Jetty:

Two fatal boating accidents in less than three years

After another fatal boating accident on the Government Cut jetty in South Pointe Park, Miami Beach City Commissioners asked the U.S. Coast Guard to take action to improve the safety of the jetty. Three people died last weekend after their boat struck the jetty not far from the spot where Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and two others were killed in September, 2016.

“Unfortunately, we do not control that area,” Mayor Dan Gelber said. “It is exclusively within the province of the Coast Guard.” The City also asked the Coast Guard to consider more lighting or other markers in 2017 following the Fernandez accident. A review at that time indicated nothing more was needed. The cause of that accident was attributed to alcohol, drugs, and high speed.

“I understand that they have a study system that tells them whether something is dangerous,” Gelber said. “But I think when you have six people who have died… literally as close to our city as you can be in the water that they ought to either reevaluate the system they’re using or just decide that that’s enough of a neon sign where they need to do something to make it safer.” 
 
“This is really not an acceptable thing to be happening and we’re the closest city so we probably are the city that ought to be speaking out although I know [Miami-Dade] Mayor [Carlos] Giménez has as well," Gelber said.
 
Commissioner Michael Góngora said he’s heard from a number of concerned people. “They think it’s us. They think that we are not taking appropriate safety action.” He asked that the measure be stronger – rather than asking for another review, to urge the Coast Guard to take action.
 
“I think we need to do more than just ask them to take another look,” Góngora said. “We need to tell them we want them to do something about this and I think the language should be more definitive on that point because the loss of lives is unacceptable… People are losing their lives and it seems like such an easy fix. People can’t understand why we can’t get this done.”
 
Gelber, as the sponsor, accepted the amendment saying, “Look, it’s horrific. Honestly, it’s horrific.”
 
Commissioner John Alemán said, “It’s appalling to me that there’s inadequate data from their standpoint. I wouldn’t be able to look the families of the six lives that were lost in the eye and say that data was inadequate for what are pretty simple measures of lighting and markings to improve the navigability of this jetty.”
 
The resolution passed unanimously.
 
Photo: fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock.com
 

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