Will Bernal told People en Espanol that José Fernéndez and his girlfriend were in an argument before the pitcher took his fatal boat trip

By Lindsay Kimble
September 28, 2016 06:00 PM
Wilfredo Lee/AP

José Fernéndez was “stressed out” the night of his death in a tragic boating accident, a friend of the Miami Marlins pitcher told People en Espanol.

Will Bernal said that he was invited out on the boat in Miami early Sunday morning, but declined to join Fernéndez and friends Emilio Macias and Eduardo Rivero because he “had a bad gut feeling.”

Bernal told People en Espanol that Rivero, 25, had texted him right before midnight on Saturday, saying that Fernéndez had gotten into fight with his pregnant girlfriend, Maria Arias.

“Eddy told me that [José] and his girlfriend were having an argument,” Bernal explained, noting that he asked Rivero to try to calm Fernéndez down. “[I said] ‘Whatever Jose is going through, just try to get him off the boat.’ ”


Over text, Bernal asked Rivero to send him his iPhone location, so he could track him. The last place Bernal’s phone received a tracking notification from Rivero was American Social, a restaurant and bar that provides a dock for boaters in the city’s downtown area.

Fernéndez, 24, and friends were confirmed to be at American Social ahead of their deaths, the bar said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Fernéndez, Macias and Rivero’s bodies were on an overturned boat that had crashed into a jetty and was discovered at approximately 3:30 a.m. Sunday during law enforcement patrol. Sen. Marco Rubio has since called for an investigation of the jetty.

Bernal wrote on Instagram of the horrific events, “The pain I have is unexplainable. I feel guilty that I didn’t do a better job of trying to convince you not get on that boat.”

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