Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

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Cruise ship Lifeboat.jpg
That’s the question many skeptical vacationers are asking themselves these days, with all the cruise ship safety issues surfacing this year. From norovirus to shipwreck and onboard fire, the cruise industry is now under tough scrutiny.

This week, its leaders gather in Miami for the 28th annual Cruise Shipping Miami conference, along with 1,000 exhibiting companies and around 11,000 attendees from 110 countries.

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Cruise ship at port.jpgThe Costa Concordia shipwreck tragedy in the Mediterranean has sparked a review of safety standards on cruise ships. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee announced in a press release that it will conduct a hearing in February to review cruise ship safety including operating standards and crew training requirements.

Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) said in the release that “The Costa Concordia tragedy is a wakeup call for the United States and international maritime organizations to carefully review and make certain we have in place all appropriate standards to ensure passengers’ safety on cruise ships.” He said that “The Committee will review the events of this specific incident, current safety measures and training requirements set by law and international maritime transportation agreements to ensure this mode of transportation remains as safe as possible.”

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Final Tally: 3 dead, 2 hospitalized with injuries in the Key West Super Boat World Championships.

Boating accidents are not uncommon in Florida, where tourists and residents alike enjoy nearly 1,200 miles of coastline, 7,700 lakes larger than 10 acres, and more than 11,000 miles of rivers, streams and waterways. Unfortunately, residents and visitors alike are also killed and injured as a result of water skiing, jet skiing, pleasure boating, and many other kinds of boating activities.

Last Wednesday, the opening day of the Key West Super Boat World Championships began with a bad omen for the multi-day event. Two of the racers, both visiting Florida from Missouri, were killed when their 46-foot Skater with four 1,200-horsepower engines crashed in Key West Harbor after the boat barrel-rolled and landed upside down, reported the Miami Herald. Despite being pulled onto a rescue boat by paramedics who jumped out of helicopters in the rescue attempt, the two men were pronounced dead at the Lower Keys Medical Center that afternoon.

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A deadly combination of factors in a Philadelphia waterway has left two tourists dead, a father of two young children jailed for a year, and several lawsuits still pending.

On the day of the incident, the operator of a 33-foot “Ride the Ducks” sightseeing boat anchored in a shipping channel of the Delaware River after detecting smoke and suspecting an onboard fire, cited CNN International. There were 35 passengers and two crew members on board.

Video footage shown on The Today Show revealed the shocking footage of a towed 250-foot sludge barge running over and submerging the tourist boat in a matter of seconds. Amazingly, only two tourists died in the accident.

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Careless boating and unheeded warnings led to a 14-year-old girl’s leg getting caught in a boat propeller on Juno Beach Pier in Palm Beach County over the weekend. Lifeguards had repeatedly warned the 22-foot boat to leave the swimming area, according to a Sun Sentinel report, but the boat continued toward the beach.

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small fishing boat.jpgThe girl and her friends were swimming in about 3 feet of water when the boat approached, and they attempted to climb in. Waves pushed the boat toward shore and eventually the driver revved the engine to prevent beaching it. The boat struck three of the girls and the propeller cut one of their legs, leaving the girl in critical but stable condition and undergoing surgery. The boat sped away after the accident and was later impounded after being found in Jupiter.

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Jet Ski adrift.jpgFollowing the report of an unmanned jet ski adrift a half mile offshore from the Fort Lauderdale beach, the Coast Guard found a woman’s body a mile and a half out to sea, according to the Sun Sentinel. The woman’s death is under investigation.

Unfortunately, accidents involving water sports are quite common in Florida. Residents and visitors alike are killed and injured as a result of water skiing, jet skiing, pleasure boating, and many other kinds of boating activities. In 2007 there were 77 fatalities caused by boating accidents in Florida alone, which led the entire country. With over 1 million registered vessels in Florida, there were over 650 reported boating accidents resulting in injury, death or serious damage. It is estimated that there are another 350,000 non-registered boats using Florida’s waterways.