Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez dies in boating accident
Last Updated: 25/09/16 6:11pm
Major League Baseball franchise Miami Marlins have been left 'devastated' by the news that their leading pitcher Jose Fernandez has been killed in a boating accident.
The 24-year-old Cuban-born player was one of three people who died in a boat crash off Miami Beach, early on Sunday morning, according to the US Coast Guard.
In a statement, the Marlins said they were "devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."
According to reports, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue received a call about a possible accident at 3am Eastern Time. They then found an overturned 32-foot vessel which had slammed into a jetty off Miami Beach.
Two bodies were found under the vessel and a third was found on the jetty, said Captain Leonel Reyes of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's Marine Services Bureau.
A spokesman said: "It does appear that speed was involved due to the impact and the severity of it.
"It does appear to be that they were coming at full speed when they encountered the jetty, and the accident happened."
Fernandez, who made his Marlins debut in April 2013, became an American citizen two years later.
He became the first pitcher in the modern era to win his first 17 career home decisions, which later became 24 from 25.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said: "Sadly, the brightest lights are often the ones that extinguish the fastest.
"Jose left us far too soon but his memory will endure in all of us. At this difficult time, our prayers are with his mother, grandmother, family and friends."
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred added: "He was one of our game's great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013."
Miami's game against Atlanta Braves on Sunday has been cancelled.