Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

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While October isn’t the busiest boating season, warm fall weather means that plenty of boaters, both experienced and inexperienced, will be taking to Florida waters. In a tragic accident, a 29-year-old woman was killed when two boats were involved in a deadly collision. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the accident involved a 65-foot yacht and a 27-foot boat. Three people fell into the water following the collision and were brought aboard the yacht. All three victims were taken to Mercy Hospital for medical care. In critical condition, the 29-year-old victim was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

548713_boat_wake_2The deadly boating accident, which occurred near Key Biscayne, has sparked a wide investigation and controversy as operators of both boats await toxicology reports. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the 27-foot boat was headed south when it collided with the yacht, traveling in a northern direction after 10 o’clock in the evening. The crash occurred on Columbus Day weekend when there were additional officers patrolling the area. They were able to respond quickly when they saw flares shot into the air.

The agency has not determined cause of the accident, but did perform immediate sobriety tests on the operator of the larger boat. He performed a breathalyzer test and also had his blood drawn, but toxicology reports can take weeks. The officers were also investigating whether speed or reckless driving was a cause of the accident. Any accident involving a fatality should be investigated by authorities as well as an independent investigator. In this case, the cause of the accident may include speeding or reckless boating, drinking and boating, driving without a license, violation of Florida boating laws, manufacturing defects, and other causes.

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Labor Day in Florida means the sun-soaked masses will be spending the day basking along the surf, partying on the sandbars and blasting music on their boats. This year, the crowds on South Florida beaches are expected to be greater than usual, as the economy has bounced back, more people are taking vacations as gas prices are down.
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More waterway traffic means a higher likelihood for crashes, especially when alcohol is factored into the mix. But safety officials are particularly on edge this year in the wake of a tragic crash in the Biscayne Bay on July 4th. Although the crash is still under investigation, the post-fireworks collision that killed four and critically wounded several others is believed to have been the result of a combination of impaired boating and heavy traffic.

This was also the same area where, in May, a man was killed trying to help a popular local DJ push a party boat out of a sand bar. The engine was still on, and the man was struck by a spinning propeller. The event had been sponsored by a local alcohol vendor.

Our Fort Lauderdale boating accident lawyers understand this holiday, law enforcement isn’t willing to take any chances. A task force comprised of federal,state, county and city officials has been formed to conduct extra patrols along the coast and in the bays.
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Throughout summer, boat accidents and tragedies have impacted the lives of victims in the Southern region of Florida and nationwide. Sadly, the majority of boat accidents are preventable, and often caused by negligence, including drunk driving, speeding, inexperienced drivers, and recklessness. In a recent case, a Pelican Harbor boating accident resulted in the loss of a father of four. According to Miami local reports, the crash occurred on a pier that stretched into the water. The victim’s family observed the tragedy from the shore, as the boat crashed twice.

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In the event of a boating accident, victims and their loved ones should consult with an independent investigator to determine the cause of the accident and identify any responsible parties. Our Fort Lauderdale boating accident attorneys are dedicated to providing strategic support to help victims protect their rights and recover just compensation following an accident on the water. An expert investigation and experienced advocacy can help get answers and protect your rights. Victims of boating accidents may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, long-term care needs, funeral expenses, and any other personal losses related to an injury or the loss of a loved one.
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The risk of boating accidents, injuries, and fatalities continues to rise throughout the summer with a peak in accidents around Fourth of July weekend. In another tragedy, four were killed and nine other victims were injured in an alcohol-related boating accident. According to the Miami Herald there were seven friends headed to shore in two separate boats. On the way back from watching the fireworks, a 32-foot Contender T-boned a 36-foot Carrera that carried a family of eight. Police reports indicated that the Contender smashed a hole into the other boat, causing passengers to spill into the bay. The Contender then spun off and slammed into a third boat.

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The tragic accident left four dead and three in critical condition, impacting the lives of at least half a dozen families. Law enforcement investigators say that it is one of the deadliest recreational boating accidents in South Florida history. While reconstructing the accident to determine the cause of the collision, initial investigations point to alcohol as a potential culprit. Our Ford Lauderdale boating accident attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness to prevent future accidents and injuries. We are also committed to advocating for the rights of victims who have suffered because of negligence.
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Fourth of July weekend is one of the deadliest weekends of the year. The National Safety Council predicted that there would be 385 deaths and 41,200 injuries that took place over the weekend. Accidental deaths caused by car crashes, swimming and boating accidents, or fireworks accounted for the majority of deaths in 2013. While a percentage of deaths may involve fireworks, research shows that the majority of Independence Day accidental deaths are caused by car collisions.

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Accident risks peak over the weekend of the 4th because of parties, alcohol, and a rise in high-risk activities. If you or someone you love was injured in an Independence Day accident, it is important to consult with an experienced advocate. Our Port St. Lucie personal injury attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness to prevent accidental injury and death. We are also committed to holding responsible individuals and entitles accountable in the event of an accident. Our legal team will conduct a thorough investigation in your case, identify the cause of the accident, and aggressively pursue victim’s rights.
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As summer arrives, Florida residents will continue to see a rise in water-related injuries and fatalities, including swimming accidents, drowning, and boating collisions. Earlier this month a popular South Florida radio DJ was involved in a boating accident in Key Biscayne that resulted in the death of a 23-year-old bystander. According to reports, “DJ Laz” was behind the wheel of a 40-foot vessel, a.k.a. “Off The Air” when the accident occurred. The 23-year-old victim was helping to push the vessel off the sand dune when he was likely caught in the propeller. Medical examiners listed his cause of death as “multiple chop wounds.”

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While many boating accidents occur on the water, this is a tragic incident that occurred while trying to push the boat off of a sand dune. When working near boat engines, it is important that operators and bystanders stand clear to prevent similar accidents and fatalities. Our boating accident attorneys in Fort Lauderdale are dedicated to helping victims recover compensation for losses. We are also experienced in handling wrongful death claims on behalf of families who have lost a loved one in a tragic boating accident.
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Boating accidents that result in injury and fatalities are common throughout Florida, especially during the summer months. For drivers, reckless boating could mean criminal penalties in addition to civil liability for any injuries or fatalities. This weekend investigators and authorities have indicated that captains may be charged criminally after a two-boat collision jettisoned passengers into the water and left 9 people in the hospital.

According to reports, the accident occurred on Sunday near Sands Cut, a sandbar near Elliot Key, Florida. The accident investigation is being conducted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is seeking to uncover the cause of the accident and identify any responsible parties. Our Fort Lauderdale boating accident lawyers are experienced with similar cases and can help victims protect their rights.

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Passengers were injured when a 36-foot boat carrying 16 passengers was struck by a 28-foot vessel with 2 passengers. There were at least 12 people flung into the water at the time of the collision and the 28-foot vessel eventually capsized. The passengers suffered injuries ranging from minor to severe and one passenger who was most seriously injured was airlifted by helicopter and taken to the hospital.

Boating injuries can cause severe injuries including lacerations, broken bones, permanent injuries, concussions, drowning and fatalities.

In the event of a boating accident, an immediate investigation should be conducted to determine the cause and identify any responsible parties. Authorities in this case claimed that both captains passed field sobriety tests at the time of the accident. Though alcohol use has not been ruled out, it does not appear to be the cause of the boat collision.

Criminal charges are still pending and authorities are investigating to determine whether either driver broke Florida boating laws. Authorities are urging boaters and passengers to remain safe while on the water.

There are many ways to reduce the incidence of boating accidents. Before you head out on the water this summer, remember the following:

Captains should be well-trained and new drivers should be supervised by an experienced captain.

Boaters should be aware of inclement weather and low-visibility. If you are caught in a storm, you should reduce speeds to avoid collisions with other boaters.

Ensure proper maintenance of your vessel. Boats should be inspected and check to make sure that they are safe for use. Boats should also have necessary safety equipment, including life vests for all passengers.

Avoid reckless boating. For many boaters, being on the water means being carefree; remember, this doesn’t mean reckless abandon. If you are on the water, remember the dangers and the risks to yourself and your passengers. Follow signs and remain within speed limits.

Never drink and boat. While boating is often associated with drinking, remember that even a small amount of alcohol can impair a boater and reduce reaction time. Passengers and other boaters are put at serious risk when a captain is under the influence.
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According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Division, Department of Law Enforcement, most boating accidents occur in South Florida, with some of the highest rates in Broward, Miami and Monroe counties. The agency has reported that 59% of boating accidents in Florida occurred in only 10 counties, primarily in South Florida.

This boating season, boaters, passengers, parents and others sharing the water should be aware of the potential dangers. Collisions, drowning, and other incidents are common off the coast of Florida. Boating injuries throughout South Florida continue to impact victims and families. Our Fort Lauderdale boating accident attorneys are committed to protecting the rights of victims and their families.

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The department statistics indicated that in Monroe County 24% of these accidents were caused by boater inattention or inexperience. Most of the accidents also occurred in open motor boats rather than sailboats, fishing boats, or pontoons. Over 30% of these accidents occurred when two or more boats collided on the water.

In Miami-Dade County, 51% of the accidents involved motorboats, 19% were caused by boater inattention or inexperience and 20% of those accidents involved a collision with another vessel. Broward County had similar statistics involving the number of accidents caused by collision and boater inexperience. The data suggests that the majority of accidents are preventable by ensuring that boaters are trained, experienced and responsible when out on the water.

A boating collision may be caused by drinking and driving, negligence, boat malfunction, distraction, weather, and other causes. After an accident it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can identify the cause of the accident and identify those individuals or entities at fault. Florida state agency data indicates that while a small number of collisions involve death, there are a significant number of boating accidents that result in injury.

This week, there were 18 people injured in a two-boat crash west of Sands Cut in Elliot Key. According to reports, the boats were heading to the dock when they collided. Three of the victims suffered serious injuries and one was airlifted to a local hospital. Authorities originally reported that there were 3 boats involved in the collision and then later adjusted the statement to say that only 2 boats were involved. The cause of the accident has not yet been determined, but the use of alcohol is under investigation.

Victims of boating accidents may suffer head injuries, neck injuries, broken bones, lost limbs, paralysis, or accidental death. Accident victims as well as their families maybe entitled to significant compensation, including financial support for medical expenses, lost wages, long-term care needs, pain and suffering and other losses arising out of a boat collision.

This summer, when heading out on the water with your own boat or with family and friends, remember that drinking and boating, speeding and other acts of negligence on the water can have severe consequences. Being aware of the dangers is the first step to preventing boating and driving accidents and injury.
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It’s spring break and we’re sure many of you will be hitting the water. It’s that perfect time to uncover the boat and spend the day along the coastline for sun, fun and some time away from school and work.
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Unfortunately, Florida continues to be the most dangerous state for boating accidents. Year after year, we see far more boating accidents than any other state in the country. According to the most recent statistics from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there were close to 700 boating accidents reported in the state of Florida last year. Coming in at second was the state of California with about 400 accidents.

Our Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys understand that Florida has more registered vessels than any other state. In 2010, there were more than 914,000 registered watercraft in Florida. It’s no wonder we see so many accidents. It’s important that all boaters are properly trained before heading out. Knowledge is your best bet against these types of accidents.

Boating Accidents in Florida:

-Palm Beach: 58

-Miami-Dade: 74

-Broward: 41

Monroe County ranked in as the most dangerous, seeing more than 90 boating accidents in 2011.

If you’re heading out on the boat between 4:00 p.m. and 5:59 p.m., you might want to be extra careful. We saw more accidents during this time in 2011 than during any other time of the day.

So what are the most common causes of boating accidents?

-Collision with other vessels.

-Collisions with other objects.

-Passengers falling overboard.

-Flooded boats.

-Capsizing.

Officials with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office offer you some safe boating tips. Make sure you review these tips and share them with your crew before heading out on your next boating adventure.

-Make sure you complete a boaters’ education course.

-Get your boat inspected frequently. You can get it checked for free by U.S. Power Squadron volunteer organizations and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

-Make sure that your boat has a working radio. Have it on at all times.

-Pack more gear than you think you need. Consider tagging along flares, batteries, a first-aid kid, drinking water and some sunscreen.

-Know how much your boat can hold. Never pack it over capacity.

-Make sure that all children under the age of 6 are wearing a Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times.

Unfortunately, alcohol also plays a major role in the cause of boating accidents. A hot day on the water combined with the consumption of alcohol can be a deadly combination. The practice proves even deadlier when the boat operator is unaware that the same impaired driving laws apply to boats on the water as well as cars on the road.

Be safe out there and enjoy your spring break responsibly, whether you’re on dry land our out there in the big blue.
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What started as a welcomed getaway has ended with thousands of cruise ship passengers and crew members stranded in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico in foul, sickening conditions.

There are reports of rooms sloshing with human waste and four-hour long lines for limited food rations. cruiseshipsatgrandturk.jpg

Our Fort Lauderdale cruise injury lawyers understand that while the Carnival Triumph ship is slowly towed by tugboats into an Alabama port, the company’s public relations team is in crisis mode, trying to spin this as an exceedingly rare occurrence.

Certainly, it’s far from the pristine images these companies want to project, but it’s not really all that rare – at least with regard to the kind of fire that caused this mess in the first place. Nearly the exact same situation happened aboard another Carnival cruise ship off the coast of Mexico in 2010. In the interim, there have actually been 10 cruise ship fires, and those are only what was reported by news crews. In a number of cases, including this most recent, the ship became either partially or completely disabled.

Recent Congressional hearings held on the issue of cruise ship passenger safety revealed that nearly 80 cruise ship fires erupted aboard occupied ships over the last 20 years.

In one case, a ship’s engine actually failed and caused it to float adrift in pirate-infested waters off the coast of Indonesia.

Of course, if you were listening to the cruise lines, you would never know about any of these incidents. Many times, the PR flack will either downplay the severity of an onboard fire or even outright deny it happened.

In fact, the industry does a stellar job of selling the entire experience as a safe and affordable family vacation. Certainly, no one would deny it is cheap – but that’s in large part due to the fact that many of these firms are incorporated in Third World countries, which means they can get away with paying their crews low wages and few benefits. It also means they can flout not only federal labor laws and taxes, but also standard safety regulations.

So even ships with English names departing from American ports may have no obligation to abide by U.S. laws.

It’s worth noting that a ship has to pass an annual inspection in whatever country it plans to enter, but the inspector for the U.S. – the Coast Guard – is unfortunately woefully unequipped and underfunded.

In addition to fires, mass illness is also a major problem aboard these vessels. In many cases, ill crew members are loathed to speak up or take the day off because they know they will simply not be paid. Cruise lines often blame passengers for the quick spread of these viruses, saying many don’t wash their hands. But the Centers for Disease Control has clearly indicated that contaminated water and food are the primary source of these potentially deadly ailments.

And just as the crews are worked tirelessly and with little pay, the ships themselves are often pushed to the brink. That’s because a ship that isn’t at sea isn’t raking in any money.

This situation is prompting Carnival to dock the Triumph for at least the next two months – a move they no doubt made begrudgingly and only after heavy incoming fire from the national media.
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