Articles Posted in Boating Accident

As summer approaches in San Clemente and throughout Southern California, more families will be spending time at the beach and in neighborhood pools. While swimming can be a great summertime activity for children and adults alike, it is critical to remember that swimming also comes with serious risks of drowning injuries and deaths. Indeed, according to a report from CNN Health, drowning is the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4, and nearly 400 kids under the age of 15, on average, die every year in drowning incidents in pools and spas. Adults, too, can sustain fatal drowning injuries if they are caught in rip tides or if they consume alcohol before boating or swimming. 

With summer just a couple of months away, now is the time to refresh your knowledge of drowning risks to help prevent a drowning death this summer.

What Do You Need to Know About Drowning Risks?

Summer is almost here, and more San Diego residents are using the warmer months to enjoy boating trips on various bodies of water in Southern California. However, boating accidents can result in serious and fatal injuries. Indeed, according to a recent article in the Havasu News-Herald, a 28-year-old man sustained severe injuries in a boat propeller accident in Lake Havasu’s Copper Canyon. Officers from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s office have reported that the victim is now in stable condition, but his injuries could have been life-threatening ones.3562051030_5d1160da86

Boat Propeller Accidents and Injuries

According to Tyler Bengard, a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy, the man “was injured in the back of the legs and had an artery severed by a boat propeller around 4:30 p.m.” Soon after the accident took place, a patrol boat from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s discovered the scene. Early reports indicated that “an off-duty medic was able to provide early treatment to the injured man before the sheriff’s department transported him across the lake to Arizona, where he was airlifted to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas.”

Now that the spring is upon us, more California residents are enjoying vacation days on the water. However, boating accidents can be especially dangerous, and a recent sailing trip near San Francisco resulted in the death of one person and the serious brain injury of another, according to an article in ABC News.

Boat Wake

Personal injuries can occur in many different environments, and accidents during recreational activities often result from negligence.  If another person’s negligence led to catastrophic injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one in a boating accident or other activity, it’s important to speak to an experienced boating accident lawyer.  You may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim or a personal injury lawsuit to seek financial compensation.

San Francisco Sailboat Collision

What was supposed to be a fun and relaxing day on the water for two families turned into a horrifying nightmare this week when a jet ski watercraft collided with a motorboat on Puddingstone Reservoir in San Dimas, CA. According to an article from NBC San Diego, three women were riding on the jet ski when the collision occurred. 34-year-old Maricon Abello, her mother Aurora Yeso, and her cousin Anesia Bautista were all killed instantly upon impact. Four people from the other boat involved in the crash were injured in the collision, as well; but the severity of those injuries was not immediately reported.

The cause of the San Diego boat crash is still under investigation, but the severity of the crash makes it appear that speed may have been a factor. The scene on the water in the immediate aftermath was chaotic, with debris from the two boats strewn all over the place. There has been some speculation, based on witness statements, that the two boats may have collided as a result of one or both of them losing control while trying to navigate a turn; but that is, at this time, just a theory. There were no applicable boat speed limits in that area, but watercraft operators at Puddingstone Reservoir are required to maintain a minimum distance of 25 feet from other boats. Hopefully, with time, investigators will be able to put the story of what really happened together and figure out how to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future.

Because of San Diego’s temperate climate and its proximity to the ocean and to other bodies of water like Puddingstone Reservoir, San Diego boating accidents are all too real a concern for those who live in this area or who vacation here. When something like this happens, there are no easy answers, especially when the cause of the incident is unclear. As the families of the victims try to pick up the pieces after this tragedy, they will rely on investigators to determine what happened and what ultimately caused this crash. Knowing why it happened can help bring closure to the families, and it can also help determine whether this was a nightmare that could have been avoided.

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This is an amazing jury verdict. In 2004, Daniel Carlock was scuba diving with Ocean Adventures Dive Co. out of Los Angeles. During a dive near an oil rig, Carlock surfaced about 400 feet from the dive boat when he had trouble equalizing the pressure in his ears. As he tread on the surface of the water, and to his astonishment, his dive boat started to motor away.

As was established in his lawsuit, the dive-master on the boat marked Carlock as present, and then traveled to a different spot, where the group dived again and where (again) the dive-master marked Carlock as present. Meanwhile, Carlock was left floating alone in the foggy and sharky waters about 12 miles off the coast of Long Beach. He testified that he prayed to God to allow him to survive, and after about five hours bobbing in the sea, Boy Scouts passing in a nearby boat spotted him and he was rescued.

That’s the case. An obvious case of negligence that certainly warrants a measure of compensation., but $1.68 million?


The criminal investigation into the Coast Guard boat accident that claimed the life of 8-year-old Anthony DeWeese is revealing a startlingly relaxed and sometimes “cowboy” attitude toward the operation of Coast Guard boats. The lead investigator into the accident has testified that boat operators failed to assign lookouts during patrols, used cell phones for talk and text while on the water, and failed to evaluate risks before embarking on mission.

The investigator, Cmdr. Brian Roach said he couldn’t believe what he saw when he began his investigation. When the 30-year veteran was taken to the scene of the accident by other crew members he was stunned by what he witnessed. The four-person crew used their phones and ignored lookout duties:

“Disappointing is the better way to put it,” Roach testified the criminal investigation hearing, adding that when no one else did it, he started calling out the locations of nearby boats. “The crew looked at me like, ‘What are you doing?’ My palms were starting to sweat.”

The Bahia Hotel must be feeling a bit lucky today. On Saturday a walkway bridge that loads guests on and off the Bahia Belle bay cruiser collapsed, sending approximately 50 people, including an infant in a stroller, into the water. In what could have been a a very serious disaster, apparently no one was seriously injured.

Witnesses told NBC San Diego that about 100 people were waiting to get on the boat, but had to wait for those disembarking the boat to leave first. Staff from the Bahia Hotel told those waiting to move to the left to let leaving passengers get by when, without warning, the bridge gave way.

Robert Wait told NBC that “the bridge itself twisted like a snake, people were going off.” The actual drop to the water was approximately 15 feet.

A 33-foot Coast Guard boat slammed into a 24-foot pleasure boat during the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights show on Sunday night killing an 8-year-old boy and injuring five others, some seriously. Apparently no one was injured on the Coast Guard boat. According to the new reports, the 24-foot vessel had 13 people on board.

Witnesses told the San Diego UT that there were dozens of boats anchored on the bay to watch the boat parade, a San Diego tradition that draws thousands. The Coast Guard boat, apparently responding to an emergency call, was racing across the water when, for reasons unknown, it slammed into the smaller boat. The accident took place at around 6:00 p.m.

“We heard them saying ‘Watch out’ and ‘Oh my God,’” said eyewitness Breck Schoch. “They had half a second warning before the thing hit.”

As was expected, the family of a Huntington Beach junior lifeguard who was accidentally killed during camp when she was run over by a lifeguard boat has filed a claim against the City of Huntington Beach. The claim alleges that Huntington Beach lifeguard Greg Crow, the boat operator, was negligent, and that his negligence caused Alyssa Squirrell’s death. As was blogged about here, Alyssa died during a training drill where the junior lifeguards would jump off the back of the rescue boat near the surfline.

The filing of a claim is not a lawsuit, but a precursor to a lawsuit. Under California law, anytime a person wants to file a law against any governmental entity, whether a city, county, or any other public agency, it must first file a claim against the public entity, and the claim must be denied. In addition, the claim must be filed within 6 months of the incident. If the claim is not filed within six months, the person is usually barred from filing a lawsuit.

This requirement, which places an unfair burden on claimants, is often confusing for claimants. For example, if Alyssa Squirrell was killed by a private boater, not a city employee, her family would have up to two years to file a wrongful death case against the boater. Since the prospective defendant is the City of Huntington Beach, they must first file the claim referenced above, then will be permitted to file a lawsuit once the claim is denied (which is what Huntington Beach will do). After the claim is denied, the family will have six months. So while California has a two-year statute of limitations in most personal injury claims, it is usually one year in cases involving public entities.

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