At about 10:30 p.m. on June 18, a fishing vessel travelling at a high rate of speed on Lake Lanier, Ga., struck a pontoon boat with 13 people aboard, resulting in the deaths of two brothers. Jake Prince, 9, died at the scene of the crash. Griffin Prince, 13, was thrown overboard by the impact, and nine days later, divers recovered his body from 113 feet below the surface.
Paul J. Bennett, 44, was operating the fishing vessel and reportedly left the scene of the accident. Authorities took Bennett into custody around 1:30 a.m. at the Bald Ridge Marina, charging him with boating under the influence. Additional charges are expected.
Gov. Nathan Deal responded to this tragic recreational boating accident by promising to work with legislators to lower Georgia’s legal alcohol limit for boating and hunting. According to Deal, “The current blood alcohol limit of .10 for boating and hunting is far too high. As a state, we need to have one level across the board. When the General Assembly convenes in January, I will work with the House and Senate to pass legislation that lowers the legal limit to .08 for boating and hunting — in line with the legal limit for driving a vehicle . . . Far too many tragedies have occurred as a result of boating under the influence, and we must take the necessary steps to keep people safe.”
Victims of drunk boating may be entitled to compensation for their injuries or for their love one’s wrongful death. If an intoxicated boater injured you or killed your loved one, visit our website for more information about drunk boating accidents, and give us a call at (800) 392-6072 to discuss your case with an experienced Boston maritime attorney.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers