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2 women dead after their car rolls off Miami ferry into shipping channel

Aerial photo of the ferry shows an empty spot in Lane 1 and a damaged barrier.

PortandTerminal.com, February 20, 2020

The bodies of the two victims were recovered Wednesday from the waters of Government Cut, a manmade shipping channel between Miami Beach and Fisher Island in Florida.

MIAMI, FL – Investigators in Florida are trying to determine how a car rolled off a ferry into a shipping channel about 50 feet deep. Both occupants of the car were killed in the incident.

The car was reportedly at the front of the ferry, which regularly transports vehicles and passengers between Fisher Island and Miami Beach, about two miles apart.

The bodies of driver 63-year-old Emma Afra, right, and passenger 75-year-old Viviane Brahms were recovered the day after their car somehow fell off the Fisher Island Ferry. (Source: WPLG/CNN)

The bodies of two victims, both women, who were in the vehicle that fell overboard have been recovered, authorities said. The women were identified as 63-year-old Emma Afra from Miami and 75-year-old Viviane Brahms from Harrison, New York, according to Miami-Dade police.

WATCH: Terrifying video of RV slamming onto ferry in Quebec

Blocks, known as chocks, are put in front of the wheels of cars on the ferry to keep them from rolling. The chocks reportedly aren’t required by law, but the Coast Guard told the Miami Herald the crew is believed to have used them to secure the Mercedes-Benz on Tuesday. The only other barrier appeared to be a thin netting at the front of the boat.

The US Coast Guard is investigating and it is unknown how the car went off the ferry boat, police said.

“The Pelican,” the ferry involved in Tuesday’s incident, was inspected just last month. Inspectors focus on the vessel’s stability, condition of the hulls, lifesaving equipment and emergency plans.

Sources familiar with the investigation told the Miami Herald they believe that one of the victims may have forgotten to put the car in park and accidentally hit the gas pedal, possibly driving over the chocks.

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