Two people riding on a personal watercraft was fatally injured recently when their watercraft collided with a tour boat near the Clearwater Memorial Causeway Bridge. Accident investigators report that the accident occurred about an hour before sunset at 6:10 p.m. when the 51-year-old man operating the watercraft and his 49-year-old female passenger crashed into a double-deck tour boat on a dolphin-sighting cruise. Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report that the couple was from out of state and had rented the water scooter.
They say that no one aboard the tour boat, operated by Tropics Boat Tours, was injured in the accident. Passengers aboard the tour boat reported that the water scooter crashed after trying to outrun the tour boat in a game of “chicken.” They say that the tour boat’s captain attempted to cut his engines to avoid striking the watercraft but was unable to slow his vessel in time.
Wildlife Commission spokesman Baryl Martin said this incident should remind everyone of the hazards of operating personal watercraft, especially when traveling at high speeds around much larger vessels.
"Slow down. It increases your reaction time and gives you space that could save your life," said Martin. "People think these things are toys, but they’re not."
James O. Cunningham and other Orlando boating accident attorneys agree with Mr. Martin. As the popularity of Jet-Skis, Sea-Doos and other personal watercraft have soared in recent years, so have the number of boating accidents involving these vessels. Mr. Cunningham would like to remind readers that while these watercraft are fast and fun, operators have a responsibility to operate their craft in a safe and responsible manner. Excessive speed, alcohol consumption, disregard for no wake zones and other reckless behaviors make Florida waterways more dangerous for everyone and can often turn a fun outing into a tragic accident.
If you or a member of your immediate family is injured in a Florida boating accident and you would like to speak with an Orlando personal injury attorney, call Mr. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587). Mr. Cunningham has been helping injured people receive the compensation they deserve since 1977 and has a proven record of success through court awards and negotiated settlements. Call him today to schedule your free consultation and learn more about your rights and legal options.
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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