KEY LARGO MAN CHARGED IN MAY FATAL BOATING ACCIDENT IN KEY WEST, FLORIDA

A Key Largo man is facing charges in a May boating accident in Key West that left one woman dead.

On Sept. 16, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation arrested 36-year-old Robert Joseph Perreault on a warrant for boating charges that resulted in the death of Jewel South, 32, of Aurora, Colorado. On May 10, Perrault’s sailboat was traveling in rough weather conditions when all of a sudden the engine failed. According to FWC, Perreault neither attempted to fix the engine nor did he call for help. 

The vessel ultimately capsized, leaving South and Perreault in the water. South died as a result. FWC said the two weren’t wearing a life jacket, and no emergency equipment was used. FWC Capt. David Dipre described the incident as a preventable tragedy.

“Our hearts go out to Ms. South’s family and friends. The charges filed are a result of a thorough investigation, and the evidence shows violations of navigational rules contributed to this accident,” Dipre said. “We remind all boaters to watch the weather, have appropriate safety gear onboard, wear a life jacket and follow all navigational rules.” 

Perreault is facing three counts of violation of navigational rule resulting in a boating accident causing death. 

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