A fishing tournament in Miami ended in tragedy on Saturday when a 31-year-old man was struck and killed by a boat propeller.
Juan Carlos Escotet Alviarez, the youngest son of Spanish-Venezuelan billionaire banker Juan Carlos Escotet Rodriguez, died trying to save his fiancée who had fallen overboard.
The couple were aboard a 60-foot vessel chasing sailfish in a competition about six miles east of Ocean Reef Club in north Key Largo, the Miami Herald reported.
According to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission accident report, the boat was moving backwards as one of the anglers fought to bring a fish aboard.
Venezuelan outlet El Nacional reported that the captain was moving to the stern to help someone struggling with his fishing rod, when he stumbled, knocking Andrea Montero into the water.
Alviarez dived in after her — and was fatally struck by the spinning 36″ blades.
Montero managed to stay clear of the propellers, and was pulled back on board by the crew using a life ring.
FWC Officer Jason Rafter told the Herald she hit her head at some stage, but couldn’t tell if it was when she fell in or was being pulled out; in fact, she couldn’t remember the accident at all.
“Rough as it was, she couldn’t say whether it was when she went over or coming back in,” Rafter said. “She doesn’t remember when it happened.”
He said the rescue had been difficult for the crew, as the South Florida coast had been experiencing high winds and high seas over the weekend.
According to El Nacional, the couple had been due to marry in November.
62-year-old Escotet Sr., who emigrated from Spain as a child, is the founder of Venezuela’s Banesco, which has presence across the US, South America and Europe. He is worth $3.5billion.
Escotet Jr was Director of the financial institution, where two of his older brothers also work.