Boat Seized After 15-Year-Old Ballerina Killed In Hit-And-Run At Sea

A boat has been located matching the description of the vessel that fatally struck a teenage Florida ballerina over the weekend in an alleged hit-and-run incident at sea, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or FWC, announced in a press release Tuesday.

Ella Adler, 15, was waterskiing with friends and family near Nixon Beach in Key Biscayne, a Florida town, on Saturday at a birthday celebration when she fell into the water. Another boat struck her and then drove off; a first responder reported seeing “a lot of blood in the water,” according to Miami news station WSVN 7 News.

Adler, pictured here at Miami Beach Golf Club, was a ballerina who performed with the Miami City Ballet.
Adler, pictured here at Miami Beach Golf Club, was a ballerina who performed with the Miami City Ballet. Suzanne Delawar Studios / Ransom Everglades Head of School

Adler was not actively waterskiing at the time of her death but was “in the water with the board attached to her feet and wearing a life jacket,” an FWC spokesperson told Miami-based NBC affiliate WTJV.

According to the FWC press release, Adler died from her injuries. The release also shared that the boat that allegedly struck the teenager was located on Tuesday and seized by authorities. The FWC did not confirm whether charges were filed, but the owner of the vessel is cooperating with the investigation, which is still ongoing.

“Ella’s death is devastating for her family, friends and the community at large,” FWC chairman Rodney Barreto said in the release. “The FWC and our partner law enforcement agencies will not stop until we have all the answers and the case is solved.”

A funeral service for Adler was held on Monday. Adler’s aunt read a letter on behalf of the girl’s father, who wrote, “You were taken from us way too soon, and the world has been robbed of all the things you could have achieved,” the Miami Herald reported.

Adler was a ballet dancer and freshman student at Ransom Everglades School in Miami. According to WTVJ, she appeared in over 100 performances with the Miami City Ballet.

In an emailed statement to HuffPost, Rachel Rodriguez, the head of Ransom Everglades School, said that Adler was “an outstanding student, a wonderful dancer and an active member of the Jewish Student Association and speech and debate team.”

“We extend our deepest sympathy to her family, and our prayers are with all who are mourning her loss,” the statement continued. “In this time of unspeakable pain, we have been moved by the outpouring of kindness and compassion from the Ransom Everglades community.”