Two women die when car falls off South Florida ferry, police say

Two women die when car falls off South Florida ferry, police say
Fisher Island is an exclusive community located near Miami Beach, Florida. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

Two women died Tuesday when the blue Mercedes-Benz they were riding in fell off the deck of a ferry that carries people from an island near Miami to the mainland, Miami-Dade County police said Wednesday.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units were called to the scene around 5 p.m. Tuesday, WSVN reported. The operators of the Pelican ferry boat reported the car had gone overboard and two women were in the vehicle, the television station reported.

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The search for the car took nearly five hours, WPEC reported. It’s unclear what caused the 2019 Mercedes-Benz to fall off the ferry or how far from the shore the car was, the Miami Herald reported.

Rescue divers found both women dead. They were later identified as Emma Afra, 63, a resident of Fisher Island, and Viviane Brahms, 75, of Harrison, New York, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

“Divers located the vehicle, submerged in the area of Government Cut, near Fisher Island," Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said in a statement. “The vehicle was recovered from the water, and investigators discovered two deceased females inside.”

Fisher Island is one of the wealthiest communities in the nation, with about 500 residents, the newspaper reported.

The Fisher Island Community Association released a statement about the incident Tuesday night, WSVN reported.

“Shortly before 5 p.m. today, a vehicle on the Fisher Island ferry ended up in the water for reasons still unknown at this point in time,” Roberto Sosa, the association’s president and CEO, said in the statement. “Fisher Island Community Association is actively assisting the various agencies involved in the ongoing recovery efforts. Our thoughts are with all those affected. We cannot confirm any additional details at this point in time.”