Two socialite friends Emma Afra and Viviane Brahms have died after their car fell off a ferry in Miami and sank.
Authorities found Afra, 63, of Miami, and Viviane Brahms, 75, of Harrison, New York, embracing one another in the backseat of a 2019 Mercedes after it had fallen off a ferry during their travel from an upscale island toward Miami on Tuesday.
The ferry was making its way to the mainland when the Mercedes fell overboard, according to the ferry operator. Divers from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and the Miami-Dade Police Department started their search for the car. They discovered it near Government Cut, a built shipping channel between Miami Beach and Fisher Island, PEOPLE reports. The two women were found dead inside late Tuesday night after a long search operation. Reports show Afra was driving with Braham as her passenger.
The upscale island is Fisher Island and welcomes an “exclusive island community off Biscayne Bay,” the Miami Herald reports. The island features a 24-hour ferry service for residents to travel back and forth from the island to the mainland of Miami. The two were known for attending parties and events together. Afra was reportedly involved in several local charities, including the nonprofit Kristi House, which fights child abuse and child sex trafficking.
Police say the women’s causes of death are still pending Medical Examiner’s report. “Shortly before 5:00 p.m. today, a vehicle on the Fisher Island ferry ended up in the water for reasons still unknown at this point in time. Fisher Island Community Association is actively assisting the various agencies involved in the ongoing recovery efforts. Our thoughts are with all those affected. We cannot confirm any additional details at this point in time,” said Roberto Sosa, president, and CEO of Fisher Island in a statement to The Herald.