During the summer months, tourists and San Diego natives love to enjoy recreational boating activities like swimming, waterskiing and tubing. Boating and watersports can be fun for everyone, as long as boat operators and passengers act safely.
Operating a boat can be just as dangerous as driving a car, and like many car accidents, speeding, negligence and alcohol use can lead to deadly boat collisions. Recreational boating accidents can cause serious injuries, like broken bones, lacerations, limb loss and permanent brain damage (either from traumatic brain injury or oxygen deprivation while drowning.)
On Thursday, July 31, two young men were killed in a boat collision at El Capitan Reservoir in San Diego’s East County. According to witnesses, the young men’s craft was stationary when a blue and white Nitro boat sped through the area and slammed into them.
A fisherman who witnessed the accident raised his arms to try to warn the speeding boat, but the passengers simply raised their hands back “like it was all fun and games.” After the collision, another boat came by to help and pulled several crash victims out of the water.
The reckless boat operator and his passengers were treated for minor cuts and bruises at Sharp Memorial Hospital. Police reported that a 21-year-old man on the stationary boat died from the impact, and divers pulled the body of his 20-year-old companion from the water hours later.
Authorities stated that there was no speed limit for that section of the reservoir. However, the area had been converted to a “no wake zone” in recent months due to low water levels. Speeding in these areas is extremely reckless, because it puts boats and other boaters at risk.
Police are unsure if drugs or alcohol caused the crash, but they have yet to file charges against the speeding boat operator. Even if the police decline to press criminal charges, the boat operator could still be sued under civil law for the victims’ wrongful death.
Boating Accident Attorneys in San Diego, CA
Under the Death on the High Seas Act, a victim’s family can recover damages if a boat operator’s negligence caused the wrongful death of their loved one. In this case, the speeding boat operator’s failure to follow boating regulations and act responsibly caused the death of these young men.
Frederick M. Dudek is a civil attorney with years of experience in San Diego maritime law. If your loved one was seriously injured in a boating accident, Dudek Law Firm can help you get justice. Our wealth of knowledge and firsthand courtroom experience could make all the difference in your case, so schedule your free consultation today.
[Did You Know: In California, 58 percent of boating accidents are caused by operator inattention or inexperience.]
Dudek Law Firm, APC – San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys