News Releases

Officer saves man’s life after witnessing violent crash on the water

News Release

Monday, December 10, 2012

Media contact: Carli Segelson, 772-215-9459; Jorge Pino, 561-723-1417

While patrolling the waters off Miami Beach on Sunday evening, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Officer Nathanael Martir-Negron witnessed a boat crash into a red channel marker. Martir-Negron approached the scene, and the boat passengers began frantically yelling for help. They told Martir-Negron that their friend had been thrown overboard.

Martir-Negron immediately searched the water surrounding the boat. He saw Christopher Alexander Afonso (DOB 12/21/91) floating in the water and yelling for help. The officer threw Afonso a floatation device and pulled him to safety.

Once aboard the patrol boat, it became clear that Afonso had an open wound on his head. He was clearly disoriented and did not know how he fell into the water or why he was bleeding. Since he was in need of immediate medical attention Officer Martir-Negron took Afonso to a dock so that EMS could transport Afonso to the hospital.

The FWC officer conducted an initial on-scene investigation and cited the boat operator for being reckless and for not having a boater safety ID card.

FWC Facts:
When divers are out of the water, a dive flag may not be displayed.

Learn More at AskFWC