The Marlins announced that starter Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident on Sunday morning, confirming multiple earlier reports. The news was originally reported by David Dwork of CBS Miami and confirmed soon after by Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.
Today's game against the Atlanta Braves has been cancelled.
The 24-year-old was in his fourth year at the major league level. He’s been with the Marlins for his entire baseball career and was a fan favorite on the team. He had defected from Cuba in 2008 to play baseball in the United States.
Fernandez had posted a 2.29 FIP in 29 games this year, which leads MLB, and averaged 12.5 strikeouts per nine, one of the highest in baseball.
The Coast Guard held a press conference at 10:30 a.m. ET, stating the 32-foot SeaVee boat was identified between 3 and 3:30 a.m. Initially, two divers found two bodies underneath the boat and a third was later found in the water on the south side of a jetty at the Port of Miami.
"We can only see that the vessel hit the rocks and capsized," Captain Leonel Reyes of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department said. "That's the only thing we were able to see upon arrival."
Eight total divers were sent out by multiple agencies. The boat was not Fernandez's, but the other two victims were "personal friends" of his. No foul play or alcohol is suspected currently, but the medical examiner will determine whether either was a factor.
None of the victims, all male, were wearing life vests at the time of the crash, and family confirmed to investigators that there was a total of three onboard. Fernandez was the only athlete involved, and investigators are still looking into the boat's departure times and GPS coordinates.
The other two victims were 27-year-old Emilio Jesus Macias and 25-year-old Eduardo Rivero. The families of the two men have set up GoFundMe pages in an effort to help raise money to cover the funeral costs.
You can contribute here:
Jeremy F. Koo contributed to this report.