Sunday, September 25, 2016

A zookeeper screamed for help into her radio before she was fatally attacked by a Malayan tiger, but the 350-pound animal crushed her neck before her co-workers could reach her

Report: Zookeeper Screamed for Help Before Tiger Attack

By terry spencer, associated press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Sep 23, 2016, 6:47 PM ET

A zookeeper screamed for help into her radio before she was fatally attacked by a Malayan tiger, but the 350-pound animal crushed her neck before her co-workers could reach her, an autopsy report released Friday showed.

The Palm Beach County medical examiner determined that Stacey Konwiser, 38, died of a fractured spine, a lacerated jugular and other neck injuries suffered when she was attacked on April 15 by the tiger named Hati.

The male tiger, then 12 years old, had been at the zoo for two years on loan from the zoo in Fort Worth, Texas.

Konwiser had entered the tigers' night house, an area where they eat and sleep that is not visible to the public, to prepare for a presentation.

The report by medical examiner investigator Aleita J. Kinman says the tiger's cage was supposed to be locked, but it was open, and Konwiser's view of the animal may have been blocked by a large box inside the enclosure.

Hearing her screams, Konwiser's co-workers rushed to the tiger exhibit and found the tiger standing over her body.

Zoo officials have defended their decision not to shoot the rare tiger, saying they feared a bullet could strike Konwiser or further enrage Hati if it didn't kill him instantly.

Instead, they tried unsuccessfully to lure him into a cage before shooting him with a tranquilizer dart. Paramedics were able to reach her 17 minutes after the attack. She was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

No cameras were operating in the area of the attack. Officials have said they are only used to monitor breeding efforts, so were turned off.

There are only about 300 adult Malayan tigers in the wild and they are considered endangered.

Zoo officials didn't immediately return a call Friday seeking comment. Investigative reports on the attack by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are pending.

Konwiser had worked at the Palm Beach Zoo for three years after working at the Palm Springs, California, zoo.

Konwiser had given notice that she had accepted a job with the Food and Drug Administration, but the zoo had offered to match her salary and give her new responsibilities in an effort to keep her. She had not given a decision. Her husband, Jeremy, is a Palm Beach Zoo employee.


Palm Beach, Florida, Zookeeper Mauled by Tiger Radioed for Help: Autopsy Report

by Elisha Fieldstadt

The Florida zookeeper mauled to death by a tiger earlier this year screamed for help into her radio before the deadly encounter — but she was crushed before anyone could respond, according to an autopsy report released Friday.

Tiger expert Stacey Konwiser, 38, died of a fractured spine, a lacerated jugular and other neck injuries when she was attacked April 15 by a 350-pound Malayan tiger named Hati at the Palm Beach Zoo, the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner said, according to The Associated Press.

The autopsy listed Konwiser's cause of death as an accident.

FROM April 15: Tiger Mauls Zookeeper to Death at Florida Zoo 1:46

Konwiser had entered the 12-year-old tiger's night house — an area not visible to the public and where cameras were turned off — when she was attacked.

The report said co-workers ran to the enclosure after hearing Konwiser's screams but when they got there, the tiger was standing over her bloodied body.

Records from West Palm Beach Police and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue show that medics weren't able to render aid to Konwiser until 17 minutes after the initial call to police. The medics said they had to wait for a tranquilizer to take effect on the animal before they could go safely into the enclosure.

Konwiser died at a nearby hospital.
Stacey Konwiser. Joe Forzano / Palm Beach Post via ZUMA

The Palm Beach Zoo was heavily criticized for choosing to tranquilize the tiger instead of shooting the animal.

Palm Beach Zoo spokeswoman Naki Carter thanked the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner on Friday for "diligent and professional work," but said the report "contains what we believe to be inaccuracies."

A statement from the zoo said that all employees who responded to the scene had been interviewed and none said they heard her radio for help or saw the tiger standing over her body.

The zoo said Konwiser broke protocol by entering the enclosure, which a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released in May also concluded.

Konwiser had worked at the Palm Beach Zoo for three years after a stint at a zoo in Palm Springs, California.

Before Konwiser's death, the zoo said, she had given notice that she had accepted a job with the Food and Drug Administration, but they had tried to keep her on. Her husband, Jeremy Konwiser, also worked at the Palm Beach Zoo.

Palm Beach Zoo Under Fire for Tranquilizing, Not Shooting, Tiger in Fatal Mauling

by Elizabeth Chuck

When a Malayan tiger — an endangered cat that can grow to nearly 300 pounds — attacked Palm Beach Zoo keeper Stacey Konwiser last Friday, zoo officials had two options: They could use deadly force on the tiger, or they could tranquilize him.

Attempting to fatally shoot an animal that's mauling a human comes with the risk of accidentally shooting the person you're trying to save. But tranquilizers can take as long as 10 minutes to kick in, letting potentially life-saving minutes tick by while the animal is still alert enough to pose a threat.

Palm Beach Zoo chose to tranquilize the tiger, and Konwiser, 38, was airlifted in critical condition to a hospital, where she later died of her injuries.
Stacey Konwiser. Joe Forzano / Palm Beach Post via ZUMA

Since then, the zoo has come under fire for its choice to "tranq," which West Palm Beach police say prevented paramedics from immediately entering the zoo enclosure where Konwiser was mauled. Neither police nor the zoo have said how long emergency personnel had to wait, citing the ongoing investigation.

The zoo stands by its decision, Palm Beach Zoo spokeswoman Naki Carter told NBC News on Thursday.

Zoo Assisting in Investigation Into the Death of Keeper Killed by Tiger 2:40

"We are equipped to tranquilize and we are equipped to shoot to kill," Carter said. "There are a lot of things to consider."

The kind of ammunition that would have taken down the animal "comes with a series of checks and balances," she added. "All those things have to be factored in. And based on what we know at this time, we are equipped to do both, and we stand by the decision to tranq."

Fatal attacks on humans by big cats in captivity have happened before: Since 1990, there have been 24 such deaths in the U.S., according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

All accredited zoos such as Palm Beach's have protocols in place for when an animal threatens zoo staff or the public.

"I think it would be helpful if you view this to how a police officer would react if he or she is confronted with a dangerous individual. There is a decision tree, or a progressive use of force, that has to be considered with every incident," Ed Hansen, CEO of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, told NBC News.

Zoos have trained shooters who are educated on weapon caliber, use of force, and circumstances under which to discharge weapons.

"The first item is, is the animal contained?" Hansen said. In the Palm Beach Zoo case, it was: Konwiser was in an enclosure where the tigers typically eat and sleep, and the tiger never posed danger to the public. "The second item is, can you separate the dangerous animal from the victim?"

Officials can create distance from an animal using non-lethal means, such as spraying a fire extinguisher at it. If that's not possible — not enough information has been released about Konwiser's situation to know — "this is where it gets very, very tricky," Hansen said.

"You have to use a high-caliber weapon, a rifle or a shotgun" to humanely kill the tiger, he said. "If you were looking at a small space, concrete construction holding area, you may not want to discharge a high-caliber weapon in that environment because it may ricochet or cause further complications. You could injure the shooter or additionally injure the victim." "There's an old saying that you can take an animal out of the wild, but you can never take the wild out of the tiger."

At Zoo Miami, where an animal keeper was killed by a tiger in 1994, if a cat or other large carnivore poses an imminent threat to people, "unfortunately that is a death sentence for that animal," communications director Ron Magill told NBC News.

"Our policy would be yes, if a tiger is on top of a human being here, we're not going to anesthetize it. We're going to shoot it to facilitate rescuing that human as quickly as possible."

"Seconds count in trying to save someone's life," he added.

David Hitzig, the executive director of the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter, Florida, echoed that.

"Human life is always going to take precedence," he told NBC News. "You always want the opportunity to be able to tranquilize the animal ... But when you run into a situation where obviously you have human life in jeopardy, whether it's in a confined area or whether you have an animal escape and you're not in control of the situation, then you have to look at lethal means."

Preventing and Preparing for Workplace Violence: What more could you be doing to reduce your risk and keep your employees safe?


Workplace Violence Prevention Information

Workplace Violence Prevention
for New York State Public Employers
What is Workplace Violence?

Workplace violence is any physical assault or act of aggressive behavior occurring where a public employee performs any work-related duty in the course of his or her employment, including, but not limited to:

  • An attempt or threat, whether verbal or physical, to inflict physical injury upon an employee;
  • Any intentional display of force which would give an employee reason to fear or expect bodily harm;
  • Intentional and wrongful physical contact with a person without his or her consent that entails some injury; or
  • Stalking an employee with the interest in causing fear of physical harm to the physical safety and health of such employee when such stalking has arisen through and in the course of employment.
In 2006, New York State enacted legislation requiring public employers to develop and implement programs to prevent and minimize workplace violence and help ensure the safety of public employees.  While workplace violence can occur in any workplace setting, typical examples of employment situations that may pose higher risks include:
  • Duties that involve the exchange of money
  • Delivery of passengers, goods, or services
  • Duties that involve mobile workplace assignments
  • Working with unstable or volatile persons in health care, social service, or criminal justice settings
  • Working alone or in small numbers
  • Working late at night or during early morning hours
  • Working in high-crime areas
  • Duties that involve guarding valuable property or possessions
  • Working in community-based settings
  • Working in a location with uncontrolled public access to the workplace
Who is covered?
Public employers include:
  • State agencies
  • Fire Departments
  • Political subdivisions of the state
  • Public authorities
  • School Safety Agents of the NYPD
  • Public benefit corporations and
  • any other governmental agency or instrumentality
But do not include:
  • Public school districts
  • New York City public schools
  • County Vocational Education and Extension Boards
  • (Employers defined in section 2801-A of New York State Education Law).
What do public employers have to do?

Public Employee Safety and Health (PESH) has developed a How to Comply Guide to assist employers in complying with the regulations.  Essentially, employers must:

  1. Develop and post a written policy statement about the employer's workplace violence prevention program goals and objectives.
  2. Conduct a risk evaluation by examining the workplace for potential hazards related to workplace violence.
  3. Develop a workplace violence prevention program (preferably in writing, although that is only required for employers with 20 or more full-time permanent employees) that explains how the policy is actually going to be implemented.  The program will include details about the risks that were identified in the evaluation and describe how the employer will address those risks.  It will also include a system to report any incidents of workplace violence, among other things.
  4. Provide training and information for employees around the workplace violence prevention program including any risk factors identified and what employees can do to protect themselves. 
  5. Document workplace violence incidents and maintain those records. 

How does the Department of Labor respond to complaints of workplace violence hazards?

An employee must first notify a supervisor, in written format, of a serious violation of the workplace violence prevention program and allow a reasonable period of time for correction. For cases involving imminent danger, the local authorities should be contacted immediately.  If the matter has not been resolved, a complaint may be filed with the Department of Labor's Division of Safety and Health PESH bureau.  Valid complaints may result in a worksite inspection to determine if the employer has implemented the requirements of the Workplace Violence Prevention regulation.  Employers found to be out of compliance with the requirements noted above will receive notices of violation.  Note: it is important to address any violations within the agreed upon abatement period so that the employer does not risk incurring fines for failing to comply. 

How can PESH help?

PESH has provided a number of resources here to assist employers who are trying to come into compliance with the workplace violence prevention regulation.  In addition, PESH has a consultation branch that is separate and kept confidential from the enforcement branch, which provides free consultation surveys at the request of the employer.  The employer can also set the scope of these surveys.  PESH helps to identify the hazards present and recommends ways to correct each hazard.  PESH also offers consultants to help train employees and correct violations cited as a result of an enforcement inspection. 

How to Comply Guide
Appendix 1 Workplace Violence Prevention Policy Statement
Appendix 2-A Records Examination
Appendix 2-B Evaluation of the Physical Environment
Appendix 3 List of Risks and Mitigation Efforts
Appendix 4 Workplace Violence Prevention Training Outline
Appendix 5 Workplace Violence Incident Report
Workplace Violence Prevention Regulations
Workplace Violence Prevention Statute
PESH Consultation Assistance Fact Sheet   
Juries hold employers responsible for these incidents with increasing frequency and in staggering amounts. What more could you be doing to reduce your risk and keep your employees safe? 

An estimated 2 million American workers are victims of workplace violence each year, costing businesses billions of dollars annually in impaired productivity, employee turnover, security measures and legal costs, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor. Juries hold employers responsible for these incidents with increasing frequency and in staggering amounts. Recently, in Yowan Yang v. ActioNet, Inc, a California helpdesk technician was awarded nearly $7.4 million in damages following a workplace violence incident where a coworker grabbed the technician's neck and choked him.

These types of cases are not limited to California or to violence committed by coworkers. Last year, in Integra Health Mgmt., OSHA cited a Florida employer for failing to provide a reasonably safe workplace in violation of OSHA's General Duty Clause after one of its health care service coordinators was fatally stabbed during an at home visit with a patient.

While an individual OSHA citation carries maximum penalties, the citations can carry much greater implications for employers. Several courts have held that a willful violation of an OSHA regulation is evidence of a breach of the standard of care owed to employees under state law. Thus, in these states, an OSHA citation could affect workers' compensation exclusivity and allow an employee to sue the employer for the injury in state court.

OSHA's Recommendations for a Workplace Violence Program

The first step in reducing the risk of and preparing for workplace violence incidents is to develop a comprehensive, written workplace violence program. If an incident of workplace violence does occur, one of the first things OSHA will do is determine whether the employer has an adequate written workplace violence program in place. The program should offer a blueprint of the various measures the employer will take to prevent and respond to workplace violence. 

According to OSHA, a written workplace violence program should include, at a minimum:
  • A written workplace violence policy statement for employees.
  • The assignment of oversight and prevention responsibilities to appropriate personnel.
  • A workplace violence hazard assessment and security analysis, including a list of the risk factors and hazards identified in the assessment and how the employer will address the specific hazards identified.
  • An employee questionnaire to obtain input on potential risks and vulnerabilities.
  • Appropriate employee training on the workplace violence program and policy.
  • A training program, including a written outline and/or lesson plan.
  • Development of workplace violence controls, including engineering and administrative controls, to prevent incidents.
  • A recordkeeping system and guidelines.
  • An annual review of the workplace violence program, including an updated hazard assessment each year.
Procedures, policies and responsibilities to be implemented in the event of a workplace violence incident, including investigation procedure.​

Developing a Workplace Violence Program and Policy 

A written workplace violence program is more comprehensive in scope than a written workplace violence policy statement, which is a component of the program. The workplace violence policy is an important part of the workplace violence prevention program because it summarizes what is and is not expected of employees, and explains how the standards of conduct will be enforced. 

An employer drafting a written workplace violence program and policy should evaluate the workplace and ascertain what makes sense in that workplace's particular context. Steps in evaluating can include:
  • Reviewing any history of violence in that particular workplace, including employee questionnaires, OSHA 300 logs, incident reports and health and safety records.
  • Evaluating the history of violence in similar places of employment.
  • Visually inspecting the workplace to identify risks associated with the design, layout and administrative procedures.
  • Reviewing unique risk factors in your workplace (e.g., workplace is located in an area with a high crime rate, public access to workplace is not limited or controlled, employees are working late night or early morning hours).
Once the workplace is evaluated and factors identified that may increase the risk of violence, employers can implement engineering and administrative controls as a part of the workplace violence program. This includes workplace design factors: for example, limiting the number of entrances, using access cards or keys to control access to the building or certain areas of the building, using adequate exterior lighting and installing video surveillance. 

Administrative controls can include drills for responding to incidents and training employees in nonviolent alternative dispute resolution, how to identify indicators and signals of potential violent episodes and how to respond to incidents of workplace violence.

Once an employer develops a written workplace violence program and policy, consistent and regular employee training and enforcement of the policy are key elements for success. A comprehensive workplace violence program and policy can only go so far if management does not actually implement the program and consistently enforce the policy.


This workplace violence website provides information on the extent of violence in the workplace, assessing the hazards in different settings and developing workplace violence prevention plans for individual worksites.
What is workplace violence?
Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors. Homicide is currently the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), of the 4,679 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the United States in 2014, 403 were workplace homicides. [More...] However it manifests itself, workplace violence is a major concern for employers and employees nationwide.
Who is at risk of workplace violence?
Nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. Unfortunately, many more cases go unreported. Research has identified factors that may increase the risk of violence for some workers at certain worksites. Such factors include exchanging money with the public and working with volatile, unstable people. 

Working alone or in isolated areas may also contribute to the potential for violence. Providing services and care, and working where alcohol is served may also impact the likelihood of violence. Additionally, time of day and location of work, such as working late at night or in areas with high crime rates, are also risk factors that should be considered when addressing issues of workplace violence. 

Among those with higher-risk are workers who exchange money with the public, delivery drivers, healthcare professionals, public service workers, customer service agents, law enforcement personnel, and those who work alone or in small groups.
How can workplace violence hazards be reduced?
In most workplaces where risk factors can be identified, the risk of assault can be prevented or minimized if employers take appropriate precautions. One of the best protections employers can offer their workers is to establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence. This policy should cover all workers, patients, clients, visitors, contractors, and anyone else who may come in contact with company personnel.

By assessing their worksites, employers can identify methods for reducing the likelihood of incidents occurring. OSHA believes that a well-written and implemented workplace violence prevention program, combined with engineering controls, administrative controls and training can reduce the incidence of workplace violence in both the private sector and federal workplaces.

This can be a separate workplace violence prevention program or can be incorporated into an injury and illness prevention program, employee handbook, or manual of standard operating procedures. It is critical to ensure that all workers know the policy and understand that all claims of workplace violence will be investigated and remedied promptly. In addition, OSHA encourages employers to develop additional methods as necessary to protect employees in high risk industries.
How do I find out about employer responsibilities and workers' rights?
Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see or Workers' rights under the OSH Act.

OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to the OSHA Offices by State webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Small businesses may contact OSHA's free On-site Consultation services funded by OSHA to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites. To contact free consultation services, go to OSHA's On-site Consultation webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.

Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Workers can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eComplaint Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to the local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by a worker are more likely to result in an inspection.

If you think your job is unsafe or if you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Your contact will be kept confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.

Fatal Statoil helicopter crash was most likely caused by a fatigue fracture in one of the eight second stage planet gears inside the helicopter gearbox.

Published in Oil Industry News on 

Friday, 23 September 2016  

An investigation report into the Statoil crash which killed 13 people has today been released.

The Statoil investigation concluded that the organisation is working well with helicopter safety on the Norwegian shelf, the company said.

The report also stated that the industry's efforts to streamline and increased focus on costs must not be at the expense of safety.

"We will follow up the recommendations of the monitoring group which stands to strengthen Statoil's work on helicopter safety and preparedness. Our ambition is to maintain our leading role in developing and strengthening the current standard for helicopter safety. The report provides a good basis to ensure the best possible organization and comprehensive approach to this", says Cheif Operating Officer Anders Opedal.

Two Investigations

The AINB is investigating the incident, but Statoil decided in May that they should conduct their own investigation of the incident. The investigation team consisted of nine people.

The purpose of Statoil's investigation was to identify measures to improve the company's work with helicopter safety on the Norwegian shelf.

The investigation group makes recommendations on measures Statoil should follow up to reinforce helicopter safety and preparedness. This among other things must be prepared for a clearer aviation safety strategy and associated plan.

Organisation of helicopter safety in Statoil is complicatied, says the group. Many players participate in the work, and there are varying understanding of the individual roles in the work.

AIBN Spokesperson William Bertheussen advised Oil and Gas People that although the AIBN report is unlikely to be released any time soon, it is good to see that Statoil have conducted their own investigation with the aim of improving helicopter safety and addressing any identified issues.

All 13 on board were killed when a helicopter Airbus H225 crashed on its way from Gullfaks B in Bergen on 29 April. The helicopter lost main rotor and crashed on an island east of Turøy in Hordaland.

On the same day a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) was introduced grounding all Super Pumas of the type that crashed (EC 225 LP), days later the same ban was applied to it's predecessor the AS 332 L2.


AIBN preliminary research suggests that the accident was most likely caused by a fatigue fracture in one of the eight second stage planet gears inside the helicopter gearbox.

The Commission believes the fatigue crack has evolved without being identified by the systems meant to notify about errors that are under development. However, it is not determined how the fracture occurred.

The pilots were defenseless when the accident occurred. The error occurred in less than one second, stated AIBN Kåre Halvorsen a few days after the accident. Nothing dramatic happened before the accident, and no distress message was ever sent out.

We know that the accident evolved very, very quickly from being a normal situation to an emergency, said Halvorsen.

3 people killed and 2 injured in a multiple vehicle fiery crash on Interstate 80 near the Gibbon interchange in Nebraska

Three people killed, two others injured in fiery I-80 crash near Gibbon

Jeff Damron, Kearney Hub
Interstate 80 accident

Posted: Updated: 11:42 am, Sat Sep 24, 2016.

GIBBON, NEBRASKA— Three people were killed and two others injured in a multiple vehicle crash Friday on Interstate 80 near the Gibbon interchange.

According to the Nebraska State Patrol, at 4:22 p.m. Friday, an eastbound semi truck in the driving lane blew a tire as it was being passed by a 2013 Chevy Silverado pickup one mile east of the Gibbon exit. The semi struck the Silverado, causing both vehicles to go into the median and into the westbound lanes of traffic. The semi struck the rear of a second, westbound semi before it continued down the westbound lane and struck a 1989 Chevy K1500 pickup.

The impact caused the 1989 Chevy to roll into the ditch where it burst into flames. The first semi also rolled on to its side and caught fire.

The Chevy Silverado came to rest in the westbound driving lane. The second semi involved in the crash continued on, stopping at the Gibbon exit.

The crash claimed the lives of the driver of the first semi and the driver and passenger in the 1989 Chevy. Due to the fiery nature of the crash, autopsies will be required to determine identification. The names of the deceased will be released upon completion of the autopsies and notification of next of kin.

The driver of the Chevy Silverado, Terry Purcell, 60, and passenger Linda Purcell, 55, both of Carter Lake, Iowa, were transported via ambulance to CHI Health Good Samaritan in Kearney with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the second semi, Jake Hofer, 42, of Lynden, Wash., was not injured.

The crash closed portions of I-80 for nearly 4 ½ hours.

The Nebraska State Patrol was assisted by the Buffalo County Sheriff's Office, and Gibbon and Shelton fire and rescue units.

SPEED KILLS, SLOW DOWN EVEN IN WATER: Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, 2 others killed in Miami high speed boat crash with a jetty in Florida

Coast Guard, state, local agencies locate three bodies 23 miles southeast of Islamorada. 

it appears speed was a factor in #JoseFernandez boat crash,however,no sign of alcohol/drugs at this time.   Authorities say Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was not wearing a life vest when he was killed in boating crash.

Sep 24th, 2016 

MIAMI, FL — The Coast Guard and local agencies located three bodies Saturday 23 miles southeast of Islamorada while following up on a report from a good Samaritan.

At approximately 10:45 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Key West Command Center personnel received a report of a person in the water from a good Samaritan. Watch standers issued an urgent marine information broadcast, launched a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew and a Coast Guard Station Islamorada boatcrew.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission aircraft located two additional bodies around 2:28 p.m. Saturday.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are assisting in a search for survivors.

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, 2 others killed in Miami boat crash

Published September 25, 2016

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez killed in boating accident 
Miami Marlins ace pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed Sunday morning after a boat crash in Miami Beach, the team announced.

Jose Fernandez smiles after becoming a U.S. citizen during a naturalization ceremony in Miami on April 24, 2015. (AP)

The 24-year-old Fernandez was one of at least three people killed in the early morning collision. He announced on Instagram recently that he and his girlfriend were expecting a child, Local 10 reported.

"The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez," a team statement said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."

Sunday's game between the Marlins and the Atlanta Braves in Miami was cancelled after the death of the star right hander.

"All of baseball is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "He was one of our game's great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Miami Marlins organization and all of the people he touched in his life."

Chief Petty Officer Nyxolyno Cangemi told The Associated Press that a Coast Guard patrol boat spotted an overturned boat at 3:30 a.m. on a jetty near Government Cut. The bodies were discovered a short time later. Officials said Fernandez was not wearing a life vest.

Because the boat was on a jetty, the Coast Guard notified Miami-Dade police, which turned the investigation over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Fernandez was on a 32-foot vessel that had a "severe impact" with a jetty, said Lorenzo Veloz of the Fish Commission.

Veloz said the boat was found upside down. Two bodies were found under the vessel and one was found in the water by divers. The boat was traveling full speed and was demolished.

There was no evidence of alcohol or illegal substances being a factor in the crash.

City of Miami Fire-Rescue workers were seen carrying bodies, draped and on stretchers, at the Coast Guard station after sunrise Sunday. The names of the other two individuals who died are being withheld pending notification of relatives, the Coast Guard said.

Fernandez was born in Cuba and he attempted to defect three times before finally reaching the U.S. in 2007 with his mother.

He played in just 27 games in the minor leagues, reaching the Single-A level in 2012 before he was selected to the Marlins' Opening Day roster in 2013 at the age of 20.

In 76 career games, Fernandez was 38-17 with a 2.43 ERA and 589 strikeouts in 471 1/3 innings.

A two-time All-Star, Fernandez won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2013. He appeared headed for another stellar season in 2014, but after eight starts his year was derailed when it was revealed Fernandez would need Tommy John surgery. He returned from the procedure to make 11 starts in 2015.

Fernandez was 16-8 with a 2.86 ERA and an MLB-best 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 2016. He was considered a strong contender for the NL Cy Young Award.

Fernandez's final game was Sept. 20 in Miami against the NL East division champion Washington Nationals. He pitched eight shutout innings, allowing just three hits and striking out 12. It was his ninth game of the season with at least 11 strikeouts. He was due to pitch Monday against the New York Mets.

Fernandez's death was not the first time an MLB pitcher died during a boating mishap. In 1993, two Cleveland Indians pitchers – Steve Olin, 27, and Tim Crews, 31 – were killed in a boating accident on Little Lake Nellie in Clermont, Fla., The Plain Dealer reported. Bobby Ojeda, a third Indians pitcher, suffered serious scalp injuries, but lived.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.