A Florida boating accident near Miami has claimed the lives of four people and injured at least twelve others. The crash occurred near the Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, traditionally an especially busy time for Florida waterways and boating accidents. Emergency response personnel were alerted to the accident around 10:45 p.m. by one of the boaters involved in the accident. He told Coast Guard officials that his 36-foot pleasure boat had been struck by another watercraft and was taking on water. He said that the operator of the boat did not stop to render assistance following the collision.
Emergency responders encountered a chaotic scene when they arrived and tried to ascertain how many people were missing as they pulled people from the water to safety.
“We kept getting report after report of more people in the water," Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll said.
Eight accident victims were initially taken to area hospitals, where two adults, one male and one female, died from their injuries. Commercial salvage crews eventually found the second boat involved in the accident. They found two unconscious females aboard and transported them to a nearby boat ramp for transport to area hospitals. Coast Guard investigators eventually contacted the owner of the second boat. He told officials that his son had taken the boat out with friends the evening of the accident.
Relatives of one of the victims found her body floating in the water the day after the accident.
Jorge Pino, a public information officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told reporters, "My understanding is they may have been out there enjoying the fireworks display, and typically after the fireworks are over, everyone makes a mad dash for the nearest marina. Unfortunately in the past we’ve seen where accidents have occurred during that time."
According to boating accident statistics from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there were at least 662 boating accidents in our state in 2013. Florida leads the country in boating accidents on an annual basis, with California a distance second with 365 accidents in 2013.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a Florida boating accident? If so, you may be entitled to compensation to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, property damage and other damages. For more information about your rights and legal options, you may wish to speak with experienced Orlando personal injury lawyer James. O. Cunningham. Mr. Cunningham has a proven record of success helping people injured by negligent boat operators and works hard to help each client receive the maximum possible compensation. To schedule a free consultation with him, call him today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587).
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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