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One Person Killed, Another Injured in Florida Boating Accident

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on December 21, 2011

Accident investigators from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) are investigating a Florida boating accident that claimed the life of one man and critically injured a woman. They say the 41-year-old man and 45-year-old woman were southbound in the Intracoastal Waterway near Hollywood around 1:40 a.m. recently when their boat crashed into a seawall head-on. The impact split the boat’s hull in half, pinning the man against the seawall and hurling the woman into the water. The crash occurred in an area marked as a no wake zone, where boats are expected to travel slowly and operators are supposed to exercise extra caution.

However, FWC investigators say that the boat was traveling at a very high rate of speed when the accident occurred. They said that after colliding with one seawall, the boat’s momentum caused it to carom into another seawall across the Intracoastal Waterway. Officials say that if the vessel had been traveling at the posted speed limit, the collision would have been minor, the boat would have had little damage and both people would have likely been able to walk away from the accident.

When rescuers arrived, the man was trapped in the wreckage as it began to sink, and the woman was floating unconscious in the water. Hollywood Fire Rescue Captain Patrick Keller reported that as many as 20 rescuers spent nearly half an hour cutting the wrecked vessel with chainsaws trying to free the man.

Charles Hansen of Fast Response Marine Towing was one of the rescuers on the scene. He frantically pumped water from the sinking vessel in order to buy time for the injured man and rescuers trying to free him.

“It was a frantic scene,” Hansen said. “It was one of the few times I’ve ever had to pump, not just to save a boat but to save a life.”

Officials say the man had a history of being cited for careless operation of a watercraft.

The boating season in our state continues all year in Florida, and Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham would like to remind readers to exercise caution at all times when out on our state’s waterways. Make sure that all of your safety equipment is on board and is ready to use in case of emergency, and operate your watercraft defensively at all times. If a negligent boater injures you or a member of your family and you want to learn more about your legal options, call Mr. Cunningham today at 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000. Schedule a free consultation with Mr. Cunningham to get an experienced and aggressive Orlando personal injury attorney on your side!

James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 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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