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Man Who Died After Capsized Boat Rescue Visiting From Cuba

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida Fish and Wildlife officials said the water was choppy and a stiff wind blowing Sunday when a group of boaters had to be rescued off Boca Chita Key when their vessel capsized.

According to FWC's Jorge Pino, a 23-foot MAKO capsized when a wave swamped the boat.

Three men were on board, one of them, a 71-year-old man, was in cardiac arrest when rescuers arrived.

"They were doing CPR to an elderly gentleman so we deployed a diver immediately in the water and Fireboat North 1 also deployed a swimmer," said Lt. Ernie Capote with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. "There was a strong current and it was very choppy.

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The man was taken to Mercy Hospital, but did not survive. They were hopeful he would survive and said he had a pulse during the transport.

He was identified by officials Monday as Ramiro Rodriguez of Cuba.

Rescuers used a GoPro camera to capture the moments of the rescue and his arrival at Mercy Hospital.

According to FWC, the men anchored up improperly in windy rough conditions causing water to come over the stern, filling the boat and causing it to capsize.

Officials added they had a water proof Galaxy cell phone with them and when they finally got a signal FWC was on scene within 15 minutes.

The victim and his wife had come to South Florida from Cuba recently for the birth of their now one-month-old grandson.

"I don't have the words to express my loss," said Rodriguez's daughter Idalia.  "I have a month old baby, Christian, and he came from Cuba to see him."

His family said he wanted to go fishing for the day.

"He loved to go fishing," said his wife, Emma Rodriguez.  "He enjoyed it so much."

"Once the boat turned over, I saw that my son was safe," said Carlos Amigo, Sr.  "I got down in the cabin and took my father-in-law out of the cabin."

Amigo was operating the boat with his father-in-law, and 16 year-old son, Carlos Amigo, Jr. on board.

"I was breathing – giving him mouth to mouth," Amigo said.  "He was still alive."

Amigo had a water proof Galaxy cell phone with him and when he finally got a signal FWC was on scene within 15 minutes.

The victim and his wife had their tickets to return to Cuba on December 9th.

"It's a very, very hard thing," said Emma Rodriguez.  "We were going to return to Cuba soon."

She said she will take her husband's body back to Cuba for burial.

The boat that capsized was brought back to shore at Black Point Marina.


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