Teen Killed in Kayaking Accident in New England

With the weather getting a lot warmer and the days getting longer, more people will be taking to the outdoors for all kinds of fun activities.  Kayaking has become a popular pastime across the nation, including here in the Commonwealth.

kayaks-1533377According to a recent news feature from the Press Herald, rescue workers have just recovered the body of a 14-year-old boy from a river in the New England area.  Authorities say the young victim was riding in a two-person kayak when it capsized.  The other person in the kayak was a friend who was wearing a life jacket at the time of the deadly accident.  The victim was not wearing one, which likely contributed to him drowning.

This was the first time he had been in a kayak, and his father said he did not know how to swim.  His family had just arrived in the United States at the end of last year after they fled from Iraq in 2006, and had spent the past decade looking for a safe place to live.  The area in which the accident occurred was popular for fishing and boating, and the two boys in the kayak and a third who stayed on land were there to enjoy some time on the river.

Authorities say there was a strong current around a bridge, and the boat was under the bridge when the capsizing occurred.  The accident occurred around 6:30 in the evening.  Witnesses saw what happened and immediately called for assistance.  First responders searched for the boy for about four hours and until it was too dark to continue.

The next morning, the rescue workers continued to search for the boy, but by this point they were obviously looking to recover his body, as it was extremely unlikely he was still alive.  Search workers employed a small aquatic robot to assist with the search efforts, and it was the robot that eventually recovered the victim’s body. His father was there looking on as his son’s body was pulled from the water, and he broke down and had to be helped up by other people.  He said he was an organ donor and would want to help others.

There are a variety of reasons a boat accident can happen, but they often involve people who rent a watercraft of some type and are not entirely familiar with that particular piece of equipment or water safety in general.  However, since the rental company routinely rents boats to people who may not know what they are doing, they are supposed to be aware of the risk, help teach the renters what to do, and keep the equipment in a properly working order.  It is also important that life vests be provided in all cases.

Our Boston personal injury attorneys have seen cases involving the use of rental equipment where the company did not properly warn users and did not properly maintain the equipment.  If you were involved in a boating accident, and someone else owned the watercraft, you should contact an experienced attorney for a consultation as soon as possible to see if you have a valid claim.

If you are injured in an accident in Boston, call Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential appointment — (617) 777-7777.

Additional Resources:

Searchers pull body of teen kayaker from Presumpscot River, June 3, 2016, Press Herald, By Matt Byrne

More Blog Entries:

Wilkins v. City of Haverhill – Massachusetts Supreme Court Weighs Slip-and-Fall Claim, May 23, 2014, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog

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