Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

A number of recent Florida boating accidents have been reported across the state, many of those young people on spring break.Florida boating accidents

Among those reported:

  • The death of a 19-year-old college freshman in a single-vessel Florida boating accident while on spring break in Sarasota.
  • The death of a 21-year-old Florida A&M University student who was in a pontoon boat with 10 others off the coast of Panama City. The young man jumped into into the water to help someone else who was in distress, but later lost his life as well. He was a senior business administration student and a member of the Army ROTC.
  • The death of an 83-year-old boater from New York who was killed while fishing when another boat on autopilot struck his vessel in the Florida Keys. Those aboard the other boat were also from New York.

As our South Florida boating accident lawyers can explain, Florida has – by far – the most reported boating accidents of any state in the country. Last year, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reported more than 720 boating accidents. Among those, there were 66 deaths. California, the state with the second-highest number of boating accidents, tallied 350 with 50 deaths. Continue reading

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled punitive damages will no longer be allowed in injury lawsuits asserting vessel unseaworthiness and filed under federal maritime law will no longer be allowed pursuit of punitive damages. boating accident

As our South Florida boating accident injury attorneys can explain, this probably won’t apply to most boating accident torts. It will, however, impact claims filed under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) as well as the Jones Act, which pertains specifically to federal maritime law, as well as hundreds of pending asbestos-related injury claims.

(While state workers’ compensation laws bar employee lawsuits against employers for injuries sustained in the course and scope of employment, instead directing them to workers’ comp as an exclusive remedy, injuries suffered at sea are handled differently, under a complex web of federal maritime statutes.)

Bars, festivals, nightclubs, concerts and cruises are required to use reasonable care in ensuring the safety of patrons – particularly if they are serving substantial or unlimited quantities of alcohol – in order to prevent South Florida injuries and wrongful deaths.South Florida festival injury lawyer

According to The News-Herald, a man filed a Florida injury lawsuit recently alleges a no-limit alcohol policy for unlimited alcohol policies for VIP guests. Among the most dangerous practices: Offering unlimited amounts of “free” alcohol. This, plaintiff alleges, resulted in his falling off the balcony at a Panama City Beach business owner and sustaining serious injury.

Although there was railing on the multi-level platform, there was no railing on the stairs that flanked either side of it. When he was asked by a security employee to sit down on the step, he complied – but lost his balance ended up falling from the stairs, sustaining serious and permanent injury.

Investigators have identified the man who died after falling off a yacht in Deering Bay as Juan Carlos Morales. The Miami-Dade boating accident took place during the annual Regatta that takes place during Columbus Day weekend.

The 45-year-old Miami resident fell from diving platform on the back of a boat named Gotcha. The victim was a friend of the vessel’s owner. He was then dragged under the yacht where he was fatally cut by the propellers.

Because of the festivities, power boaters that aren’t part of the event often come to Deering Bay over the long weekend. Heavy drinking tends to be part of the celebrations, which have occasionally resulted in serious injuries and deaths.

Morales wasn’t the only one to be involved in a South Florida boating accident this weekend. A woman in her 80’s drowned and seven people are now recovering after their boat sank off the Florida Keys on Saturday. Everyone on the vessel was thrown into the water and they were forced to keep themselves afloat for approximately 20 hrs. before help arrived. One of the survivors, a 4-year-old girl, developed a mild case of hypothermia.

South Florida Boating Accidents
Recreational boating accidents can result in serious injuries for victims. There may be parties who can be held liable for what happened. For example, a boat owner that failed to properly supervise passengers or decided to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol can be sued for Miami personal injury if someone gets hurt as a result. If a boat malfunctions or had a safety defect that caused it to sink or explode and people were injured or killed, the boat owner, boat manufacturer, and boat repair company could be among the possible defendants.

Guest on yacht at Elliott Key killed when he falls into propellers, Miami Herald, October 8, 2011
Man told rescuers his mother, 79, died in his arms after boat capsized, Sun-Sentinel, October 10, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Boat Accidents, Justia
Boating, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

More Blog Posts:
Florida Boating Accident Seriously Injuries Father and His 11-Year-Old Son, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, August 26, 2011
Palm Beach Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Yamaha Over Fatal WaveRunner Accident That Killed One Teen, Leaving Another With Brain Damage and Physical Injuries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, May 20, 2011
Man Dies in Florida Boating Accident After Engine Quits and Vessel Capsizes, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, April 30, 2011 Continue reading

Jared Adkins, 39, and his son Calvin Adkins, 11, were hospitalized earlier this month after they were seriously injured in a Florida boating accident off the Upper Keys. While Jared has been released, as of August 13, Calvin was still in critical condition at a Miami hospital.

The father and son were starting a drift dive on the morning of August 9 when the accident happened. The two of them had jumped into the water from the stern dive platform while the vessel was in reverse gear, and this when they were hit by the boat’s propeller.

The dive boat is the Big Dipper from the Florida Keys Dive Center, which is is located on Plantation Key.

Six years after the Florida water scooter accident that killed 14-year-old Yasell Perez and left then-15-year-old Samantha Archer with serious injuries, their families are in court seeking damages from Yamaha for Palm Beach County wrongful death, products liability, and personal injury. The jury trial opened last week and the plaintiffs are seeking millions.

The tragic Palm Beach County injury accident occurred on Easter Sunday on March 2005 after the teens got on a WaveRunner on the Intracoastal Waterway. Five minutes after taking off, the WaveRunner struck a boat, killing Perez and causing Archer, now 21, to sustain serious injuries, including a traumatic brain damage, a broken pelvis, and gashes to her legs, stomach and groin. She was hospitalized for two months and had to return several times to undergo surgery. Doctors have testified that Archer has lost the mental and emotional abilities that would allow her to sustain a marriage, hold a job, have a kid, or live independently.

A lawyer for Yamaha has said that the teenagers shouldn’t have told the WaveRunner’s owner that they knew how to operated the personal watercraft. He also notes that Archer at the time of the accident was under 16, which is the legal age for operating a water scooter in Florida. Meantime, the plaintiffs are claiming that a steering problem with the WaveRunner prevented the girls from being able to avoid striking the boat. Their lawyer contends that the PWC accident that killed the girls could have been avoided if only Yamaha had listened to concerns it had been receiving for years about problems with the WaveRunner’s steering system. Archer is seeking almost $7 million, while Perez’s family is also seeking millions.

A 55-year-old man has died in a Florida boating accident in the Gulf of Mexico. Richard Green, a New Port Richey man, was returning from a fishing expedition with friends when the engine of their boat quit.

The boaters tried to anchor the 22-foot fishing vessel but a large wave overturned it. Green and three others were thrown in the water. None of them were wearing life vests.

Although boating is an activity that takes place all year round in Florida, more boaters tend to populate the waters in the spring and summer. Unfortunately, vessel malfunction, negligent operation, boater inexperience, poor weather conditions, and rough waters have been known to turn an enjoyable expedition into a catastrophic one. Other common causes of Florida boating accidents include the vessel capsizing, speeding, boating collisions, falls overboard, and alcohol consumption.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 85% of the 65 boating accident victims who died in the state in 2009 were adults. 73% of those who died were able swimmers. Florida law mandates that anyone riding a boat on state waters needs to have a United States Coast Guard-approved flotation device within easy access. On any vessel shorter than 26 feet, kids age 6 and under have to wear a life vest.

If you believe that a boating accident occurred because someone else was negligent or reckless, you should speak with an experienced Ft. Lauderdale boating accident law firm as soon as possible. Other boating-related accidents that can cause serious Miami personal injury:

• Jet ski accidents
• Parasailing accidents
• Kite surfing accidents
• Water skiing accidents
• Waverunner accidents
• Wind surfing accidents
• Tubing accidents
• Cruise ship accidents
• Diving accidents
• Drunk boating
• A vessel crashing into the dock

FWC investigating fatal boat accident, ABC Action News, April 16, 2011
Former Middleboro man dies in Florida boating accident, Enterprise News, April 19, 2011
Recent Drowning Highlights Risks for Boaters, The Ledger, April 22, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Florida Boating Regulations

US Coast Guard

More Blog Posts:
14-Year-Old Injured in Palm Beach County Boating Accident Has Part of Her Leg Amputated, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, February 8, 2011
Man Charged in Boating Accident that Injured Florida Diver, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, January 9, 2010
Fort Myers Man Dies in Boating Accident, Cause of Death Unknown, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 29, 2009 Continue reading

A teenager who was flown to the hospital on Saturday after a Palm Beach County boating accident had to have part of her leg amputated. Gabby DeSouza, 14, was swimming in the water south of Juno Beach Pier when part of her leg got caught in a boat propeller south of Juno Beach Pier.

As the girls ran to meet the boat, its operator revved the engine to keep it from getting beached because of the waves. The boat struck three of the girls, knocking them down. The propeller struck one of the girl’s legs.

Lifeguards came to the rescue in an attempt to stop the bleeding. The boat, a 22-foot white Cobia, fled the scene. It was later found at the Crab House in Jupiter and the Sheriff’s Office has impounded it.

Prior to the Palm Beach County boating accident, lifeguards had warned the boat operator to leave the swimming area but their orders were ignored. An investigation is under way.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

• There were 426 boating injuries in 2009
• Primary injuries included lacerations, broken bones, contusions, head injury, back injury, neck injury, sprain/strain, internal injuries, hypothermia, teeth and jaw injuries, dislocations, burns, amputations, spinal injury, and shock.

Boating accidents can cause serious injuries to both the people riding in the boat and those in the water. There may be more than one liable party who should be held liable for your boating accident injuries, such as the boat operator, the person or company that owns the boat, or the manufacturer of a defective boat.

14-Year-Old Girl Injured By Boat Propeller Has Leg Amputated, WBPF, February 8, 2011
14-year-old girl hospitalized after leg is caught in boat propeller, Sun-Sentinel, February 6, 2011

Related Web Resources:
US Coast Guard

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Related Blog Posts:
Man Charged in Boating Accident that Injured Florida Diver, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, January 29, 2010
Fort Myers Man Dies in Boating Accident, Cause of Death Unknown, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 29, 2009
Boating Accident Injures Boca Raton Man, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, November 27, 2009 Continue reading

A Palm Beach Gardens man who lost both his legs in an offshore boating accident last year his filed a civil lawsuit against the boat’s operator. The suit alleges that the boat’s operator, a 56-year-old Stuart man, came into the diver’s flag zone and did not render aid following the boat accident. The incident occurred on January 9, 2009 roughly 4.5 miles northeast of the St. Lucie inlet.

In addition to losing both his legs, the diver has lost his job and continues to undergo extensive rehabilitation. He is able to continue diving with the use of prosthetics that propel his body through the water.

Following a yearlong investigation of the boating accident by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the State Attorney’s Office also filed second-degree misdemeanor charges for allegedly violating navigational rules.

Source: Diver sues after losing legs,, January 22, 2010 Continue reading

The Miami Herald reports that four men and three dogs fell into the Caloosahatchee River earlier this month. The boating accident occurred when two boats tied together flipped over.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the United States Coast Guard initially and recovered three men and three dogs, but one of the men was still missing until several hours later, when they found the body of the 51-year-old Fort Myers man.

Officials say the boating accident victim‘s body showed no signs of trauma, and they plan to perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Source: Man found dead after boating accident, Miami Herald, December 19, 2009 Continue reading

Contact Information