Boston Maritime Trial Lawyers Discuss Spate of Florida Boating Accidents During Thanksgiving Weekend

Boston Maritime Trial Lawyers Discuss Spate of Florida Boating Accidents During Thanksgiving Weekend

This video from ABC News discusses the large wave that hit the CORAL PRINCESS on Thanksgiving day, capsizing the 45-foot catamaran and throwing 21 passengers and two crewmembers in to the waters off Pompano Beach, Florida. The Sun-Sentinel reported that 54-year-old Nina Poppelsdorf drowned, although a co-worker of hers, Darrell Fong, told the Associated Press that the Sandia Park, New Mexico, woman was a certified diving instructor. The AP reported that three other passengers were treated and released, and the accident remains under investigation.

On the Saturday morning after the holiday, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) rescued three people when the BLISS, an 80-foot motor yacht, caught fire off Miami Beach:

According to WFOR-TV, no injuries were reported, but the “timing couldn’t have been worse” for the fire as the COAST GUARD CUTTER SITKINAK was in the process of boarding the vessel. Petty Officer Sabrina Elgammal told the Miami Herald that the fire remains under investigation.

The following Monday morning, WPLG-TV reported that George Verdecia had to tread water for seven hours while his brother swam to shore to find help after their boat capsized about three miles off shore in Key Biscayne, Florida. According to ABC, the brothers had lifejackets on board, but had stored them beneath the boat’s seats. A cooler was the only thing that popped to the surface after the 12-foot vessel capsized at around 2:30 a.m., and the 29-year-old Verdecia grabbed the lid while his unnamed older brother grabbed the base.

“Seven hours is a very long time to tread water,” Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Joseph Abeyta told WPLG. “So, again, the Coast Guard always wants to stress, you got to wear the lifejacket. That is the primary—it’s just like wearing your seatbelt in your car. You don’t get in your car without your seatbelt, you really shouldn’t get on-board without your lifejacket.”

Being on board a capsized vessel can be a frightening experience, but it can also cause severe injuries or fatalities. Under the law, if a person sustains injuries or there is a fatality, under the law, the injured party or family may be entitled to compensation.  In this instance, the failure to provide proper life saving equipment and the failure to provide it in an accessible place rises to negligence under the law.  In any boating accident, a proper investigation needs to be performed to determined the cause of accident.

Latti & Anderson LLP obtains compensation for individuals hurt in boating accidents and files wrongful death claims on behalf of the families of those killed in accidents on the high seas. You can find more information about recreational boating accidents on our website, and some of the verdicts and settlements we have secured for clients include a $440,000 settlement for an individual who sustained a fracture of the spine in a pleasure boat accident near Long Island, New York. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a recreational boating accident, contact our firm at (800) 392-6072 to schedule an appointment or fill out the form on this page to have our Boston maritime attorneys review your case.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers