Two separate boating accidents left five people with injuries and three in need of being rescued, according to authorities.
The first accident occurred when a boat carrying eight people slammed into a jetty. The accident happened just off Pompano Beach at Hillsboro Inlet. According to one witness, he saw a family stranded on the boat and raced to help. Three children were among those on board. Rescue crews soon responded, and both first responders and onlookers dove into the water to render aid. Witnesses noted that while everyone on board was conscious, the victims seemed to be in shock. One man, unable to swim, was helped to the sheriff’s boat by one of the onlookers. Boating accidents such as this are quite common, with 8,000 per year reported by the U.S. coast guard
In all, five people were sent to the hospital. One, a 10-year old boy, was airlifted to Broward Health Medical Center. Four others were taken by ambulance. The boat’s captain has been listed in critical condition; however, everyone else is stable.
According to investigators, the cause of the crash is believed to have been a misjudgment on the operator’s part while entering the inlet. One of the injured passengers stated that the crash happened quickly and was unexpected. “Five seconds later, we’re up on the rocks, and he [the driver] had gunned it. He hit the rocks pretty hard, and we had some injuries on board. I ended up with a broken shoulder.”
Shortly after the first crash, another rescue was underway. According to reports, the victims were fishing when their boat began to take on water. The boat capsized, leaving them in distress. Miami-Dade and City of Miami Fire Rescue crews responded just before 7 p.m. There are no current reports of injuries in that incident.
Boating Accidents and Personal Injury
While boating is a popular pastime in Florida, accidents can and do happen regularly. Florida has the highest boating accident rate in the nation, according to national sources.
Boating accidents are often the fault of someone failing to take necessary precautions or acting in a negligent manner. There are laws governing safe boating just as there are for cars on the highway. If you are injured on a motorboat, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party. However, you must show that your injury was the result of negligence. This means that the operator or owner failed to act with reasonable care, whether the negligence was due to drinking and boating or failure to provide proper safety gear like life vests.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, call the personal injury legal team at Bernstein & Maryanoff in Miami for help.