New details emerge in Miami Beach boat crash

24 March 2015 • Written by Risa Merl

A boat crashed into the seawall of a Coast Guard base in Miami Beach, Florida, seriously injuring the two people on board who have now been identified as Miami nightlife impresario Michael Capponi and his friend Brooke Biederman.

Michael Capponi, 42, was behind such popular Miami hot spots as LIV, BED and Story and is also very active in humanitarian work, and Brooke Biederman, 23, went to Princeton University and is the daughter of Bryant Park Corp President Dan Biederman.

The recreational boat Michael Capponi and Brooke Biederman, which is about the size of a superyacht tender, collided with the seawall at about 10 am on Friday morning, 20 March. The video above, taken from Coast Guard cameras, shows the boat running directly at the seawall at a high speed. The Coast Guard has now confirmed that the boat was running between 25 to 30 knots when it hit the wall head-on.

The Coast Guard also revealed that Michael Capponi’s boat was heading westbound down the channel safely when it suddenly made a 90-degree turn toward the wall. Coast Guard crews from the Miami Beach based and the Coast Guard station in Miami were, of course, immediately able to respond due to the location of the crash. After striking the wall, the vessel made circles in front of the pier until the Coast Guards jumped on to stop it.

The Coast Guard reported that no alcohol or drugs were found on board the boat.

Michael Capponi and Brooke Biederman were immediately rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where Biederman was reportedly in critical condition having sustained a skull fracture and brain injuries. Michael Capponi has suffered broken bones and head trauma. He instagrammed a photo from his hospital room with the caption, “Thank you for the hundreds of well wishes. Please continue to send all your blessings and prayers in this very difficult passage. I love you all. Thank you @brooke1730.”

Coast Guard Captain Benjamin Davis, “Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of these two boaters. Coast Guard responders from the base were on scene almost immediately, and began providing first aid on both victims before they were transported to the hospital.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is leading an ongoing investigation to find out what caused the crash.

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