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Man Dies After Being Struck by Propellers

Apr 3rd 18
By Lauren Beck

A 25-year-old man died after being struck by propellers on April 1. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) confirmed that Raul Menendez was a guest aboard 91-foot M/Y Miami Vice when the accident occurred at Monument Island in Miami-Dade.

According to FWC, Menendez was one of seven passengers aboard the charter vessel, which was operated by Mauricio Alvarez, 20, and 22-year-old mate Andrew Tarcisio.

The FWC accident information report stated the vessel was beached at Monument Island when Alvarez engaged the engines in reverse while Menendez was in the water. He was struck by the propellers and died. Authorities have not yet clarified whether Menendez jumped into the water or if he fell.

“The FWC will be conducting a thorough boating incident investigation, but preliminary information indicates that (Menendez) was struck by the vessel’s propellers,” says Rob Klepper, FWC Law Enforcement Division Public Information Officer, in an email to Dockwalk. “Remains found by the FWC and other responding agencies confirm that the victim is deceased, and FWC officers and dive team members continue to search the area.”


According to the local ABC affiliate, Local 10, alcohol is not considered a factor, but charges are pending. The Miami Beach Police Department is working with FWC on the investigation, and the vessel has been secured by the Coast Guard.


UPDATED: 4/6/18

UPDATE 4/13/18: According to a report by NBC Miami, Mauricio Alvarez was arrested on Wednesday as he attempted to board an international flight at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. At the time of the April 1 incident when Raul Menendez died after being struck by the vessel’s propellers, Alvarez did not have a U.S. captain’s license. NBC reports that he is being charged with misconduct or neglect of a ship officer that resulted in the death of an individual. This carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. 

UPDATE 5/18/18: The investigation into Mauricio Alvarez has been ongoing since his April 6 arrest.

ABC News reports that Alvarez told authorities in a “consensual phone interview” that he was going to visit family in Orlando. Instead, he bought a ticket to Panama with Spirit Airlines. Airline records reveal that he tried buying the Panama ticket before the call but was unable to because his card was declined. It was shortly after his phone call with investigators that he was able to complete his purchase.

Authorities say Alvarez did not have formal training to operate a vessel, nor did he have his U.S. captain’s license.

UPDATE 8/3/18 

M/Y Miami Vice owner Laurent Marc-Antoine Jean Maubert-Cayla was arrested and charged in connection with the incident off Monument Island, according to local ABC affiliate Local 10. He is charged with misconduct or neglect of a ship officer that resulted in the death of an individual.

The court records state that Maubert-Cayla is part-owner of the vessel. Federal prosecutors said that he hired Alvarez to drive the yacht during charters, even though he knew that Alvarez didn’t have the appropriate license and that Alvarez was cited by the Coast Guard in March for operating a charter without the proper license. The Miami Herald reports that according to federal prosecutors the yacht owner allegedly filmed the captain doing cocaine.

Maubert-Cayla has a bond hearing scheduled for August 7, and Alvarez’s own trial for misconduct or neglect of a ship officer that resulted in the death of an individual is expected to begin on September 4.

UPDATE 8/29/18
The Associated Press reports that Mauricio Alvarez pleaded guilty in Miami federal court on August 28 to misconduct or neglect of a ship officer that resulted in the death of an individual. His sentencing is scheduled for November 19.

  • So sick of hearing about these accidents thst were totally avoidable. 20 yr old running a charter vessel WITH NO LICENSE. Stop hiring Below Deck wannabes. As a yacht chef this is the type of boats you avoid. Shame on the owners, crew agents and charter agents of that boat. Verify your captain and crew credentials.
    Posted by ChefT 22/04/2018 04:48:54

  • After reading the NBC reports this incident makes less sense than when I first read about it.

    It was stated they reported the passenger that was struck missing. That the second party was onboard with the person in control of the vessel. And they realized he wasn't onboard after departure. The vessel was reported missing as well I believe.

    Now, they're saying both parties were in the water at the stern. One was sucked into the prop I presume as the other got onboard. So if they knew he was sucked under to the prop.. Why leave the scene and why report him missing after leaving? If they infact did do the reporting of him missing.

    I don't know... I read about crew deaths or those working next to the vessel in the water. Some idiot throws it into gear or turns a bow thruster on. Or checks lines on someone 70 feet in the air. The facts get pushed under a rug. No one gets charged, and even if they do.. "up to 10 years" which means he ain't seeing 10 years for this.

    There's little accountability is my point. It's always pushed off as "Well, shit happens. Sorry." Next Port of call...

    I've been there when people have died. Due to stupid orders and being rushed. Just stupid reasons. And sure they worry about losing their license.. hang their head for a week or two to three investigation is over. Say how sorry they are.. and that's it.

    Accidents happen, I acknowledge that. But... I don't know. Nothing I say is going change anything anyway. But I don't have to like it.
    Posted by -chase- 18/04/2018 09:53:08

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