Boat Propeller Severs Teen’s Leg

Boat Propeller Severs Teen’s Leg

Last Tuesday, 15-year-old Abby Mueller lost part of her leg in a recreational boating accident on Kezar Lake in Lovell, Maine. She was riding on the bow of a 24-foot motorboat when it struck a submerged rock, sending her flying over the front of the boat. The boat then ran over her, its propeller severing her leg between the ankle and knee. LifeFlight transported her to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she was in stable condition as of Tuesday night.

There were five people aboard when the accident occurred, plus one being towed in a tube behind the boat. Abby’s father, Robert Mueller, was operating the vessel when it struck the submerged rock inside a marked hazard area. Authorities do not believe alcohol was a factor.

Just as drivers need to observe road signs, boaters need to observe maritime markers. Buoys warn boaters of hazards such as rocks, sandbars and submerged objects. They also delineate swimming areas where boats are not allowed as well as no-wake zones. Recreational boaters should familiarize themselves with buoy symbols, so they can navigate waterways safely.

Boat operators should not only be on the lookout for navigational markers, but also for hazards that are not well marked. When in doubt about whether to avoid a particular area, it is often best to keep away just to be on the safe side.

When recreational boaters ignore or fail to notice navigational markers or unmarked hazards, it can result in serious injuries or even death. Have you been injured in a recreational boating accident? Contact a Boston maritime attorney today to learn about your rights under maritime law.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers