A Miami man who said he had run some 40 charters on Miami Vice, a sleek 95-foot yacht , even though he didn’t have a Coast Guard license, was just arrested as he tried to flee the country after he ran over and killed a paying passenger in Biscayne Bay. The U.S. Department of Justice said that federal agents arrested Mauricio Alvarez, 49, and charged him with “misconduct or neglect of a ship officer that resulted in death.”
Authorities said that one of the passengers was “sucked up by the propeller” while he was in the water and Alvarez put the boat in reverse and backed over him. Alvarez was arrested in the Fort Lauderdale airport four days later; federal agents said he was preparing to fly to Panama.
Raul Menendez, 25, from Hialeah, and six of his friends paid $3,000 to charter the boat for four hours. Alvarez took them to Monument Island, just south of the Venetian Causeway, so they could go swimming.
At the end of the day, Alvarez started the engines, two 2,250-hp MTU diesels, and put the boat in reverse. Authorities said he didn’t look to see if anyone was in the water behind the boat. A passenger yelled and Alvarez shut down the engines. But Menendez was dead.
According to this story in the Miami Herald, Alvarez did not have a Coast Guard license or any formal training for operating a boat that size. A few weeks earlier the Coast Guard had issued him a violation for operating an illegal charter as an unlicensed captain.
The boat was built in Italy in 1998 as an Intermarine 91, measuring just under 95 feet. It topped out at about 55 knots. The Miami Vice website says a four-hour charter costs $4,000; an all-day (eight-hour) charter is $5,800. It says to inquire about charters to the Bahamas or Cuba. Read more: