Fatal Consequences to Going Full Speed Ahead on Water

This WALA-TV video discusses a speedboat accident in Florida’s Santa Rosa Sound that killed one person and sent four others to the hospital. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said 61-year-old Gary Lowry was killed after the 42-foot cigarette style boat went airborne and shattered into pieces after traveling at high speed in the waters of Shoreline Park. Two charter boat captains told WEAR-TV that they have never seen anything like the boating accident.

“I just remember the little girl saying this is the worst dream I’ve ever had,” charter fishing boat service captain Justin Simmons told WEAR. “[I kind of] had to be honest with her and say this isn’t a dream, this is really happening.”

“She was like in shock, she was disoriented,” said the other captain, Ben Birch. “She had a bad cut on her side so we put her on the boat. She had another cut on her head as well.”

One week before the Florida boating accident, KIII-TV reported that one fisherman was taken to the hospital after two boats collided in the water near Padre Island in Texas. Officials from the Flour Bluff area of Corpus Christi said that fog played a role in the crash. “I think they were going a little too fast,” Flour Bluff Volunteer Fire Fighter Landon Sherman told KIII. “It’s pretty dangerous.”

The day before that Texas boating accident, a Connecticut man was arrested for a fatal boating accident in which speed was also a factor. The New Haven Register reported that Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police arrested 54-year-old Burt W. Hamilton on charges of first-degree reckless boating, failure to maintain proper lookout and speed in excess of slow-no-wake zone. Donald Bessette of Chaplin, Connecticut, drowned after allegedly being ejected from Hamilton’s boat on December 7, 2012, when the vessel collided with a dock piling while Hamilton was trying to return it to Sunnyside Boat Ramp on the Housatonic River in Shelton.

All three of these accidents are reminders of the role that high speed plays in many recreational boating accidents. These types of accidents often cause serious injuries or deaths that dramatically affect the lives of the victims and their families. Unfortunately, numerous complications can make it difficult for individuals to recover the compensation they need and deserve in these cases, including issues with insurance coverage, defective equipment or the location of the accident.

Latti & Anderson LLP has more than 50 years of experience helping clients in all types of maritime accidents on various bodies of water. You can find more information about wrongful death claims by visiting our website. You can contact our firm at (800) 392-6072 to schedule an initial free consultation or use the form on this page to have our Boston maritime trial lawyers review your case if you or a loved one sustained injuries on a recreational boat or vessel.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime attorneys