Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

Hodson v. Taylor, a case from the Supreme Court of Nebraska, involved plaintiff who was injured in a lake accident. Plaintiff and group of friends were invited to lake house owned by the parents of a member of group. All members of the group were around 18 at the time of the accident.

sunset-winter-scene-1250442-m.jpgThe family owned a pontoon boat, which the teens took out on the lake. The teens had each consumed several beers and would drive the boat to a location where they would jump into the water several times and swim around. After going to a few locations in the lake and engaging in these activities, the boat made a stop at the group’s final location. At this point, members of the group jumped off the boat repeatedly and swam around in the lake.

At one point, plaintiff jumped off the pontoon boat and hit an object he believed to be the bottom of the lake. None of the teens were sure of the lake’s depth at the time of his injury, but they all reported they swam without touching the bottom. Hitting the object in the lake was the last thing plaintiff remembered from that day.
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Colombo v. BRP US, Inc., an appeal from the California Court of Appeal, involved plaintiffs who went jet skiing. The group consisted of two sisters who went to help a third sister move into a new apartment. The sister who was moving had a boyfriend whose roommate operated personal watercraft for a local company.

jetski-1087258-m.jpgBoyfriend wanted to reward the two sisters for helping his girlfriend move and arranged to meet them at a store and then take them to ride the personal watercraft (PWCs). He loaded two PWCs onto a trailer, met them at the store, and took them to the bay to ride. Both sisters wore two-piece bathing suits. Nobody in the group was wearing a wetsuit.

After putting on a life vest, plaintiffs waded into the water and met defendant. Both plaintiffs got on the back of PWC with defendant sitting in the operator’s seat. He did not give them any instructions. Plaintiff testified that she had no intention of driving the PWC herself and did not have any idea how PWCs worked and how fast water exited the jet-thrust nozzle underneath. She also did not see any labels under the handlebars or on the console that warned of severe injury that could occur as a result of falling into the water near the nozzles.
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In McCormick v. Chippewa, Inc., the plaintiff was working on an Alaskan commercial fishing boat when he injured his back pushing a net reel. He was given an over-the-counter pain medicine as the sole treatment for his injuries. Later that same evening, he went to bed, and, due to rough seas, he fell out his bed and hit the floor. When he hit the floor, he hit his head and suffered further injury to his back, according to court records.

fisher-boat-1111108-m.jpgThe following day, the plaintiff stated he was dizzy from the fall and in more back pain than he had been the day before. He was eventually treated for his injuries at a medical facility in Anchorage.

He filed a personal injury lawsuit against the boat owner and captain, alleging negligence in the operation of the boat both in causing his injury and in failing to treat his injury properly after it occurred.

Boating accidents in Boston and elsewhere are likely, especially during this time of the year!

According to New England officials, a 41-year-old father and his two children, 5- and 3-years-old, were in a pretty serious accident in a New Hampshire lake. The Boston Globe reports that the father throttled up the motor and shifted his weight. The boat listed heavily and ejected him.
The father was injured by the boat’s propeller is it circled the area. During the incident, he say that his son’s life jacket was caught on a part of the boat. He lifted the outboard motor to free him. He was also able to get his daughter off of the boat before it sank. A pontoon boat that was passing by was able to swoop in for the rescue. According to officials, the outboard motor was never intended for a craft of that size.

Our Massachusetts boating accident attorneys understand that boating is getting more and more dangerous. Nationwide, the number of boating fatalities remains high. Accident and injury stats are up there, too. In 2006, about 70 percent of the more than 700 boaters who were killed in accidents were on vessels captained by those with no formal boating training. Many of these accidents were caused by excessive speed, recklessness and operator inattention. The most common cause of boating accidents is alcohol. Alcohol-impaired drivers account for about 20 percent of those involved in fatal boating accidents.

These are all extremely common happenings in the New England area, too. Accidents have been all too common in the recent months, since we’ve had such warm weather. Residents and visitors are flocking to the water and enjoying the summer season to the fullest.

In 2008, there were nearly 15 people who were killed in boating accidents in the state of Massachusetts. That’s up from the 9 fatalities recorded in 2007. None of these accident victims were wearing a life jacket.

“Probably half the boaters don’t have a clue what they’re doing,” said Tommy Gardner of Weymouth, captain of a 46-foot SeaRay. “It’s every time you go out. You just have to fend for yourself.”

Our state has close to 1,500 miles of coastline, hundreds of lakes and ponds, four major river systems and the Quabbin Reservoir. If recreational boating is your thing, Massachusetts is the place to be. But be careful, there are about 100 officials with the Massachusetts Environmental Police (MSP) that are patrolling our waterways from the Berkshires to Cape Cod.

“There is never enough,” said Captain George Agganis with the MSP. “Our numbers really need to increase on coastal areas.”

To help to keep boaters safe, officials with the MSP recommend that all boaters under the age of 12 to wear a personal flotation device. Just like driving a car, you’ve got to keep safety as a top priority when in a boat.
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Governor Thomas M. Menino and his wife will be hosting the first Swan Boat ride at the Public Garden Lagoon. The kickoff event will be happening at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 14th 2012. During the opening celebration event, they will also be releasing a new family-friendly map of Boston Common and Public Garden.

The map was created by Boston Parks and Recreation Department. This map will be highlighting local sites for residents and visitors to see around the city, including spots like a 200-year-old English Elm, the Museum of African American History, the Tadpole Playground, the Brewer Fountain and the Frog Pond. With the arrival of spring season, we’re expecting more and more people to be heading outdoors to enjoy the beautiful weather. With more outdoor activities come more risks for injury in Boston. Residents are urged to be cautious when hitting the town.
“We had such a mild winter that spring is here ahead of schedule,” said Menino.

Our Boston accident lawyers understand that Saturday’s event is supposed to be a big one. Dignitaries will be joined by students from a number of area public schools, including John Winthrop Elementary School in Back Bay, the Conley Elementary School in Roslindale and the Ellis Mendell Elementary School in Roxbury, according to the City of Boston. As a matter of fact, this year is the 136th season for the Swan Boats. The smallest and oldest boat in the fleet just recently celebrated its 101st season on the water. The newest of the boats was introduced back in 1993.

Nowadays, the swan on the boat is made up of either fiberglass or copper, depending on how old the boat is. Inside the swan is an enclosed paddle device that helps to make the swan glide through the water.

When a Swan Boat is fully loaded, it weighs roughly three tons. Each boat can carry up to 20 passengers. They’re built on top of copper-clad pontoons that have air tanks in them to keep them afloat.

After they’ve been stored in a safe spot away from the wicked winter, they return to the Public Garden Lagoon for the spring.

Residents and visitors are urged to get out there and enjoy not only the beautiful spring weather, but also all of the perks that the City of Boston has to offer. For the next few months, we can expect to see plenty of Swan Boat rides, tourists, pedestrians and bicyclists throughout our city. With the coming of a new season, let’s take this time to renew our focus on safety. It may seem like a care-free time to be outdoors in the beautiful City of Boston, but remember to keep it safe. Be considerate of others and make sure safety is a top priority.
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A summertime accident on Cold Storage Beach in Dennis left a frequent visitor seriously injured after a beach accident in Massachusetts. The beach’s strong winds took an umbrella right out of the sand and caused it to fly directly toward a man, striking him in his left eye, according to the Cape Cod Times.
Lifeguards and a nearby physician rushed over to the man and provided him with first-air care. He was transported to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis and was later rushed to Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston for urgent eye surgery. It was there that doctors spent roughly five hours attempting to fix his ruptured eyeball. Unfortunately, the accident left his retina detached from the optic nerve. This is the nerve that connects the eye to the brain. Just a week later, doctors informed him that he would never be able to see out of his left eye again.

Our Boston personal injury attorneys would like to give credit to the man’s wife who says that she holds no anger against the unidentified owners of that lethal umbrella and agree with her in saying that this accident could very well have been prevented. While it should be the responsibility of umbrella owners to properly secure their equipment in the sand, it is also the lifeguards and beach official’s responsibility to warn fellow beachgoers to shut their umbrellas on windy days and help to ensure that they’re properly set up in the sand.

The town of Dennis has a policy in place to help prevent these types of accidents and was reportedly enforcing it at the time of the accident, but the wife of the victim claims she witnessed no such enforcement.

According to beach statistics, about 6 accidents happen on Dennis beaches each summer with most accidents being less severe than this.

Accidents on the beach are not uncommon. Beachgoers oftentimes will see and/or experience accidents involving boats, jet skis, umbrellas, parasailing injuries, drownings, lacerations from debris in the sand and all-terrain vehicle injuries. Many of these accidents can be prevented with the proper preventative safety measures. Rented umbrellas need to be properly secured by rental companies, jet skis need to meet all equipment rules and regulations, other beach rental companies need to be certified and trained in their operations and lifeguards need to be trained and alert when on the clock.

It is critical for you to contact an attorney if you or a loved one has recently experienced a beach-related accident. An attorney can help you to determine who may be at fault whether it is a company, the designer of a product or another beachgoer.

Here are some simple steps to help you place your beach umbrella securely in the sand the next time you hit the beach:

-First make sure that you choose a beach spot that will allow you and your buddies to have as much personal space as possible. Make sure you leave enough room to walk around and play.

-Before placing your umbrella into the sand, measure and mark the umbrella at least 18 inches from the bottom of the pole, measuring up towards the canopy.

-Put the umbrella into the sand and shift the pole back and forth while pushing down on it.

-Continue doing this until the sand is up to that 18 mark you previously made.

-Adjust the canopy of your umbrella so that the top is slanted towards the oncoming wind. This will help to prevent your umbrella from blowing away.

We hope that everyone gets out there and enjoys the beautiful weather that the summer months provide, but remember to be safe and consider the safety of others as well when you’re out enjoying our public beaches.
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A Boston car accident injured five people and involved seven vehicles and a duck boat on Friday afternoon, the Boston Herald reported.

It was second duck boat accident in Boston last week. A boat and two cars were involved in an accident near Government Center on Tuesday when three women on their way to a wedding tried to drive around a duck boat.

Friday’s accident occurred shortly after noon on the ramp to Charles Street Circle from Embankment Road westbound, according to the Massachusetts State Police.

Police said seven vehicles were towed from the scene and the injured were transported to area hospitals. A manager of Boston Duck Tours said a piece of radio equipment on the boat dislodged and blocked the brake pedal.

The boat was taken to the Boston State Police barracks for inspection by the commercial vehicle enforcement team. Mechanical error and operator error will both be investigated as possible causes.

This incident is the latest in a recent string of mishaps involving the tourism industry. As we reported on our Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, a tour boat ran aground in Boston Harbor over the Fourth of July weekend, resulting in the evacuation of all 174 passengers and crew members on board.
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A Boston boating accident involved a tour boat on Saturday and resulted in the evacuation of all 174 passengers and crew members from the ferry, which ran aground in Boston Harbor, NECN reported.

A Boston injury lawyer should always be consulted when someone is injured in a mass transportation accident, whether on a subway, bus or ferry boat or on a tour bus, cruise or other tourist attraction. Companies that provide mass transportation have an obligation to ensure the safety of passengers. A ferry boat that inexplicably runs aground can cause serious or fatal injuries.

The ship ran aground Saturday at 10 a.m., about a mile and a half off the coast of Deer Island. The boat began taking on water and the crew was forced to evacuate everyone on board.

The 168 passengers were taking part in a whale watch and four were injured by the sudden impact. Passengers walking off the rescue vessel described the accident as chaotic, scary and frightening.

Many of the passengers were visitors to Boston for the holiday weekend and had hoped to get a nice tour of Massachusetts Bay.

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the accident, according to the Patriot-Ledger.

The boat apparently veered out of well-marked channel and ran aground on a rocky shoal. The shallow area is a known hazard and well-marked on navigation maps.

The crew of the M/V Massachusetts were tested for drug and alcohol use as part of the investigation. The 87-foot vessel is often used for commuter-boat service from Hingham and is owned by Massachusetts Bay Lines.

Several Coast Guard officials said they have never seen an accident in that location, as it is one that experienced boaters steer clear of.
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Authorities urge boaters to stay safe on the water as the Fourth of July holiday ushers in the height of the summer boating season.

We have reported on our Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog that it has been a particularly deadly season for Massachusetts boating accidents. By the first week of June, six fatal Massachusetts boating accidents had been reported this year, compared to 10 during all of last year. So far, 21 people have died in accidents off the coast of Massachusetts in 2010.
The National Safe Boating Council is encouraging boaters to wear life jackets and stay safe on the water during the upcoming holiday weekend.

“Boating is a big part of Independence Day celebrations,” said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council. “The Fourth of July weekend may be one of the only days some people get on a boat the entire summer, and it’s even more important that every boat operator remembers to share the ‘Wear It!’ message.”

Drowning is the cause of death in about 90 percent of all recreational boating accidents.

ABC40 reports that Massachusetts Environmental Police will be teaming up with state police and local law enforcement to crack down on drunk boating over the holiday. The effort is part of “Operation Dry Water Weekend,” which is occurring along coastal areas nationwide.

“We are out conducting patrols looking for people that are under the influence,” said Sergeant Scott Amati of the Mass. Environmental Police.

The enforcement effort will also be a chance for authorities to conduct safety checks and help boaters better understand what they need to know to stay safe on the water.

Boat Massachusetts provides additional information on boating laws and boater responsibilities.
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Authorities were on the water in force over the Memorial Day weekend, a trend law enforcement promises will continue through the summer months as safety advocates vow to reduce the dangers of serious and fatal Massachusetts boating accidents.

As we reported recently on our Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, a total of 21 people have already died this year in boating accidents off the coast of Massachusetts.
The Boston Globe reported there have already been 6 fatal boating accidents in Massachusetts this year, compared to 10 in all of 2009. The U.S. Coast Guard and local authorities cite boating while intoxicated as the leading contributor to serious and fatal boating accidents.

This summer, authorities in Massachusetts will participate in Operation Dry Water, an aggressive campaign to increase checkpoints for drunk captains and to educate boaters about the dangers of drinking and boating. Part of the challenge facing efforts to combat drunk boating is that alcohol is permitted on boats, with the exception of some areas like Massachusetts state parks. However, boat operators can be held to the same standards as the driver of an automobile. In both cases, operation of a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level over .08 is illegal.

A first BUI offense in Massachusetts is punishable by up to 30 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. An offender may also have his or her driver’s license suspended even though a motor vehicle was not involved.

Another challenge for law enforcement is that drinking and boating does not carry the same stigma as drinking and driving. While driving a car while intoxicated has become less acceptable, many people remain more tolerable about drinking and boating.

Meanwhile, authorities are convinced that better education and the use of life vests can help prevent Massachusetts boating accidents. The Coast Guard reports that two-thirds of boating fatalities result from drowning while only 1 in 10 boating accidents involve a driver who has received boating safety instruction.
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