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Coast Guard Gives Safety Tips For Amphibious Vehicles

The Coast Guard has released several safety recommendations for amphibious vehicles as it investigates the sinking of a Missouri duck boat that left 17 dead.

About the Duck Boat Incident

On July 19th, a duck boat in Table Rock Lake sank during a storm. 17 people were killed in the accident, including a crew member, while the remaining 14 people survived.

The accident is being formally investigated by the Coast Guard, the Marine Board of Investigation, and the National Transportation Safety Board. While the investigation is underway, the Coast Guard has decided to offer safety recommendations for amphibious vehicles in an attempt to reduce the risk of such accidents reoccuring.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced on July 27th that it had collected information from the boat’s audio video recorder. The footage shows the captain pointing out the location of emergency exits and life jackets. A bilge alarm sounds as the weather conditions worsen, and the alarm stops after the captain is seen reaching down.

The investigation, which could last a year or longer, has not yet led to any conclusions about the cause of the incident. Investigators will continue to review the accident to determine factors that contributed to it, evidence of misconduct or negligence, and the probable cause.

Coast Guard Safety Tips

The Coast Guard has stated that the industry need not wait for the Marine Board of Investigation to conclude its review of Ride the Ducks Branson in order to take immediate action regarding safety measures.

The safety recommendations released by the Coast Guard include:

  • Ensuring that owners and operators of passenger vessels review the routes and conditions allowed under their Coast Guard certificates
  • Training crew members for emergencies
  • Encouraging frequent communication between boat masters and headquarters for potential hazards, such as a change in weather patterns
  • Making everyone aware of the “operational limitations” of each vessel

Contact an Experienced Boating Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one was harmed in a boating accident due to someone’s negligence operation, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call and evaluate your claim. Our law firm has the legal resources and experienced team of legal professionals necessary to properly develop your case. Call us today for a free case review.

17 Dead in Tragic Missouri Duck Boat Accident

A tragic duck boat accident near the tourist city of Branson, Missouri has left 17 people, including children, dead.

Details of the Branson Boating Accident

According to reports, 17 people were killed when a World War II-style amphibious vehicle (often referred to as a duck boat) sank in Table Rock Lake.

The boat was loaded with 31 passengers when a microburst storm hit the Missouri lake at around 7 pm Thursday. It and another boat began to head back to shore, but the first boat began to sink as it was overtaken bay wave leaving excess amounts of water on the boat’s deck.

The wreckage was found 80 feet under water and the last four bodies were recovered from the sunken boat Friday morning.

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told reporters that life jackets were in the duck boat, but declined to answer question on whether passengers on the duck boat were wearing the life jackets at the time of the sinking.

Previous Duck boat Accidents

Duck boats are often used for sightseeing tours around the world; however , there have been several fatal accidents over the past two decades.

In 1999, thirteen people were killed near Hot Springs, Arkansas when the duck boat they were riding crashed and sank suddenly.

In 2010, two tourists died in Philadelphia when the duck boat they were riding was struck by a tugboat.

In 2016, Ride the Ducks International LLC agreed to pay a $1 million fine after one of the vehicles it manufactured collided with a bus in Seattle, killing five. The company admitted to failing to comply with U.S. vehicle manufacturing rules.

Contact an Experienced Boating Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one was harmed in a boating accident due to someone’s negligence operation, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call and evaluate your claim. Our law firm has the legal resources and experienced team of legal professionals necessary to properly develop your case. Call us today for a free case review.

Man Dead in Clyde Jet Ski Collision

A man was killed at Clyde Lake this weekend from injuries he sustained in a jet ski collision.

Details of the Clyde Lake Jet Ski Crash

According to KTAB, Jody Gwinn, 58, was pronounced dead at Hendrick Medical Center Saturday following a jet ski crash that occurred at Clyde Lake around 1:30 pm.

A preliminary investigation suggests Gwinn was jet skiing with friends when his jet ski collided with another jet ski, driven by someone known to him. The exact cause of the crash was not released, but investigators do not believe alcohol was contributing factor.

The other jet skier suffered a concussion, but is suspected to make a full recovery.

Boating Accident Facts and Statistics

The following information is provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division:

  • In 2015, the Coast Guard counted 4,158 accidents that involved 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries.
    • In addition, $42 million dollars of damage was caused to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
  • Where cause of death was known, 76% of fatal boating accident victims drowned.
    • Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 85% were not wearing a life jacket.
  • Excessive speed was the second highest primary contributing factor to recreational boating injuries in 2015

Leading Causes of Boating Accidents

The Coast Guard says these are the top ten primary contributing factors of boating accidents:

  1. Operator inattention
  2. Operator inexperience
  3. Improper lookout
  4. Machinery failure
  5. Excessive speed
  6. Alcohol use
  7. Hazardous waters
  8. Navigation rules violation
  9. Weather
  10. Force of wave/wake

Alcohol use was the number one contributing factor of fatal boating injuries with a known cause.

Contact an Experienced Boating Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one was harmed in a boating accident due to someone’s negligence operation, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call and evaluate your claim. Our law firm has the legal resources and experienced team of legal professionals necessary to properly develop your case. Call us today for a free case review.

Two Men Lose Feet in Gobbler Creek Boating Accident

Two men suffered amputation injuries Saturday evening following a boating accident in Gobbler Creek, located between Lubbock and Abilene.

Details of the Gobbler Creek Boating Accident

KXAN reports that two men were near a boat propeller trying to get an anchor to come up for a boat when the boat operator engaged the engine, resulting in amputation injuries to both men. According to an area Game Warden, one man lost both of his feet, and the other lost one foot.

The incident remains under investigation, and the Texas Game Wardens will be leading the investigation.

The names of the injured persons and the operator of the boat have not been released.

Recreational Boating Accident Statistics

The following information is provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division:

  • In 2015, the Coast Guard counted 4,158 accidents that involved 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries.
    • In addition, $42 million dollars of damage was caused to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
  • Where cause of death was known, 76% of fatal boating accident victims drowned.
    • Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 85% were not wearing a life jacket.
  • Excessive speed was the second highest primary contributing factor to recreational boating injuries in 2015

Contact an Experienced Boating Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one was harmed in a boating accident due to someone’s negligence operation, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call and evaluate your claim. Our law firm has the legal resources and experienced team of legal professionals necessary to properly develop your case. Call us today for a free case review.

Boating Safety Tips for Spring

With spring rapidly approaching, our nation’s lakes, rivers, beaches, and bays will be filling up with kayaks, canoes, and sail boats. Whether you are hitting the water for fishing or recreation, it is essential that you practice proper boating safety. After all, as the U.S. Coast Guard reminds us, 70 percent of boating accidents are caused by human error.

1.     Wear a Life Jacket

U.S. Coast Guard suggests life jackets could have saved the lives of more than 80 percent of boating fatality victims. While you may think you are a strong swimmer, accidents can result in injury and loss of consciousness. Additionally, there is often little time to reached stowed life jackets following a crash, so be sure you are wearing one at all times.

2.     Check Weather Conditions

Never go boating without checking the weather. What starts as a beautiful day can quickly turn windy and rainy, resulting in significant boating hazards.

3.     Have the Proper Equipment

Make sure you have all the necessary safety equipment before going into the water. This includes life jackets, an emergency radio, a first-aid kit, flash light, and water.

4.     Don’t Boat Alone

Whether you are fishing, kayaking, or sailing, you should always have a partner. Additionally, let a family member or friend know where you are going prior to departing. Tell them when you are leaving and when they should expect you to return to shore.

5.     Know Your Limits

Do not push yourself or your vessel too far. If you start feeling tire or if you feel waters are becoming too rough, head back to shore. There will always be another day to get back to the water.

1 Dead, 14 Injured in Casino Shuttle Boat Fire

A female passenger died hours after a casino shuttle boat caught fire off Florida’s Gulf which forced 50 passengers and crew members to jump into the chilly waters. Another 14 people were injured in the incident.

About the Florida Casino Boat Fire

CNBC reports that the shuttle boat fire occurred around 4 pm Monday. Police say the woman who was died originally went home after the fire, but then went to the Regional medical Center Bayonet Point emergency room around 10 pm due to illness.

While her cause of death has not been determined, reports indicate that at least eight other passengers were treated at the hospital. Hypothermia was a concern for the passengers due to low water temperatures.

The fire is believed to have been caused by engine problems, and the boat was about 100 yards of sure when it was engulfed in flames. A resident of the nearby neighborhood welcomed about 30 passengers into his garage to warm up and recover.

Boat Accident Statistics

The following information is provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division:

  • In 2015, the Coast Guard counted 4,158 accidents that involved 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries.
    • In addition, $42 million dollars of damage was caused to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
  • Where cause of death was known, 76% of fatal boating accident victims drowned.
    • Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 85% were not wearing a life jacket.
  • Excessive speed was the second highest primary contributing factor to recreational boating injuries in 2015.

 

Capsized Boat Injures Eight In San Francisco

boating accident

According to Reuters, at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, a boat with 30 passengers capsized on Saturday. Eight people were injured in the incident.

Details of The Boat Being Capsized

The 30 passengers—consisting of three children and 27 adults—were aboard the vessel that capsized around 4:00 PM local time. The passengers were thrown into cold waters and a minimum of three passengers were trapped beneath the vessel.

U.S. Coast Guard and rescue swimmers from local fire and police departments and rescued the passengers from the water quickly. Eight passengers—including three children and five adults— were injured and transported to local hospitals.

Investigating officials have found no current proof of foul play and the capsized vessel has been identified as a recreational sailboat.

The quick rescue response may be attributed to San Francisco’s “Fleet Week” celebration as units of the Coast guard, fire and police, were already patrolling the waterfront.

Capsizing Of Boats Information

According to the Boat U.S., the most common causes of boats capsizing are that weight is poorly distributed on the boat, boats having leaks, and inclement weather.

All of these major causes of capsizing are preventable if passengers prepare before an outing on a boat—such as checking the daily weather forecast—and a boat is properly maintained.

Ensuring life jackets are worn by passengers, or at least in easy access, can help prevent injuries and death in case of a capsizing.

MLB Pitcher Fernández among 3 Dead in Boating Crash

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According to CNN, Miami Marlins young star pitcher José Fernández and two other men were found dead near a wrecked boat at the entrance to Miami Harbor.

Fernández’s death a loss to his family, to Miami, to baseball

The accident occurred sometime after 10:30 p.m. local time, when the Miami Marlins’ game against the Atlanta Braves that night had ended. Fernández and his two friends, Emilio Marcias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, were on the boat when the crash happened, according to USA Today.

The boat, which Fernández owned but rarely drove, hit a rock jetty near Miami, causing massive damage to the boat and ultimately killing the three men. CNN reports that the boat was likely going the max speed, between 50 and 65 mph, when it struck the rocks.

Debris from the crash was spotted at approximately 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning by the Coast Guard. Shortly after rescue crews were dispatched, the victims’ bodies were recovered. According to USA Today, none of the men were wearing life jackets, though they may not have aided in their survival. Reports say Fernández died on impact and did not drown.

Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a cause of the crash, according to CNN, though the investigation is still ongoing.

Fernández, who defected from Cuba in 2008, won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2013 and was a two-time All-Star.

Recreational Boating Accident Statistics

According to the United States Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety,

  • In 2015, there were 4,158 recorded recreational boating accidents, resulting in 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries.
  • Where cause of death was known, seventy-six percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned in 2015.
    • Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 85 percent were not wearing a life jacket.
  • Only 15 percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received a nationally-approved boating safety education certificate.
  • Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents (17%).

One Crewman Dead, Four Injured in Cruise Ship Mishap

According to The Guardian, a crew member of the Harmony of the Seas cruise liner died and four other crew members were injured after a lifeboat fell from the deck while in port at Marseille.

Cables Attaching Lifeboat to Liner Broke

The crew members were taking part in a rescue training exercise when the lifeboat reportedly detached from the fifth deck of the cruise liner and fell 30 feet into the water.

The deceased crew member is said to be a 42-year-old from the Philippines. Three of the injured crewmen were also Filipino, according to the Guardian, and the fourth was Indian. Two of the injured men were in critical condition and the other two are being treated for multiple serious injuries at Marseille Nord hospital.

An inquiry was opened into the cause of the accident.

Information Regarding Cruise Ship Injuries

Here are the steps to take after sustaining an injury on a cruise ship:

  • Get your injuries treated
  • Report the incident to crew personnel
  • Request a copy of any incident report
  • Take down witness name and contact information
  • Take photographs of your injuries
  • Decide if you want to file a claim against the cruise line.
  • Your cruise ticket may contain fine print specifying time limitations on filing a claim.
  • The ticket may also reference a particular jurisdiction for any lawsuits against the cruise line.
  • If you decide to pursue legal action against the cruise line, consider hiring a maritime attorney.

Speedboat Racer Seriously Injured After Fiery Crash

boating accident attorney

According to the Houston Chronicle, a man was seriously injured after his speedboat catches on fire and crashes during a drag boat race in Marble Falls, Texas.

Boat Reached Speeds of 260 MPH

Scott “Scotty” Lumbert was participating in a Top Fuel Hydro boat race at LakeFest when his boat, the “Spirit of Texas,” caught fire and flipped multiple times during a final round race.

Lumbert was rushed to Austin’s University Medical Center Brackenridge Hospital and placed in an induced coma to reduce the swelling in his head. Although he was released from the hospital and his condition is improving, according to the Houston Chronicle, he still suffers from blood clots and other complications.

According to Lumbert’s wife, Lynn, he is able to move his extremities in a limited capacity and occasionally react to his environment, including the couple’s dog.

Recreational Boating Statistics

The following information is provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division:

  • In 2015, the Coast Guard counted 4,158 accidents that involved 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries.
    • In addition, $42 million dollars of damage was caused to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
  • Where cause of death was known, 76% of fatal boating accident victims drowned.
    • Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 85% were not wearing a life jacket.
  • Excessive speed was the second highest primary contributing factor to recreational boating injuries in 2015.
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