Coast Guard Report Says Crew Responsible for Fatal 2009 Crash

Coast Guard Report Says Crew Responsible for Fatal 2009 Crash

Two weeks ago, we noted that the US Coast Guard has saved 56,511 lives since 2000. The Coast Guard estimates that it saves 10 lives and assists 192 people in distress on an average day. While the men and women of the Coast Guard provide an invaluable service, the agency released a final report on January 31 in which it accepted the blame for the death of an 8-year-old boy in 2009. According to the Associated Press, the report placed primary blame on the operator of the Coast Guard boat, but it also cited failures of the crew to follow standard risk management methods and the command climate at the agency’s San Diego station.

A 33-foot Coast Guard patrol vessel was going as fast as 42 knots—or 48 miles per hour—when it struck a 24-foot pleasure boat, injuring 10 people and killing 8-year-old Anthony DeWeese. While the crew was rushing to help a grounded sailboat, investigators said that vessel was in no danger of taking on water and there was no need to reach it so quickly. The AP reported that crewmembers delivered emotional apologies to DeWeese’s family in court. The highest-ranking member of the patrol boat, Ian Howell, told the boy’s parents that “he wished it had been him who was killed instead of their son.”

“No words or deeds can atone for the death of a young boy, or for the pain caused to his family,” Vice Admiral John Currier, the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, said in a statement. “We can only affirm our resolve to ensure nothing like this happens again.”

Unfortunately, this tragic collision is a reminder of the role speeding plays in many recreational boating accidents. Latti & Anderson LLP represents individuals who were hurt in all types of accidents on the water, and we also employ our own full-time investigator to help us hold negligent parties accountable.

You can learn more about other causes of boating accidents, such as drunk boating or operator error as above, by visiting our website. If you or a loved one sustained catastrophic injuries in any type of boating accident, contact our firm right now at (800) 392-6072 to schedule a free consultation or fill out the form on this page to have our Boston maritime trial lawyers review your case.

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Latti & Anderson’s Little Extra: On an average day, the USCG conducts 109 search and rescue cases.