Articles Posted in Boating Accident

Published on:

Diver down flag

Diver down flag – Courtesy of diveasia.com

Recently, Leesfield Scolaro represented the family of a young child who was fatally injured while snorkeling by the propellers of a boat off of Cow Key Channel, in Key West, Florida.  Last weekend, a very similar incident took place, this time near Edward B. Knight Pier, formerly named White Street Pier.  While boating accidents involving swimmers / divers are statistically down, it remains one of the top 3 concerns in Florida according to the latest boating accident statistics released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (“FWC”).

In this latest tragedy, 29 year old David Corlew was spearfishing approximately 200 yards off the pier with fellow spearfisherman.  At around 8:30 a.m., a a twin-engine 32-foot commercial charter Sea Vee vessel operated by Robert Householder struck David Corlew, who was displaying a diver-down flag as required by Florida Law, which caused him to sustain traumatic leg injuries.

Published on:

Every year the Coast Guard, Florida Marine Patrol, and local law enforcement agencies note a marked increase in injuries and deaths stemming from the negligent and careless operation of marine craft and water recreational vehicles. Ira Leesfield, Chairman of the Resort Torts Section of the American Association of Justice, has written extensively on this topic pointing out “it is not just small water craft but jet ski, parasailing, and small water related activities that are contributing to the high incidents of serious injuries in the Florida keys”. Tourists and visitors from all over the United States and abroad descend on the Florida keys for the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean as well as inland waterways.

pic-diver-flag.jpgThe firm of Leesfield Scolaro has promoted water safety and the necessity of regulating parasailing activities which coupled with snorkeling, diving, fishing, and boating are a huge industry for Monroe County residents. Now, there is an added safety fact as cell phone use and texting creep into the prevention and safety issues surrounding water activities that require full concentration.

This firm is now seeing boating collisions where an operator was distracted by cell phone use and in recent years the death of a Key West child was indirectly linked to the boat operator’s cell phone inattention. Unquestionably the news for that weekend will be an unnecessary loss or tragedy which could have been prevented by greater diligence and better enforced navigational rules. The waters surrounding the Florida keys are a majestic natural resource which must be treated with respect. Just recently, we are seeing injuries and deaths related to diving and pool activities including electrocution from water source. Leesfield Scolaro completed a $10 million result for electrocution from a faulty pool wire. Families must be on the look out and diligent to watch their young children in any water related environment. Hotels and other forms of lodging must be careful and selective about which vendors they allow to use their facilities for the purpose of water recreation rental.
Continue reading

Published on:

On Monday morning, Judy Montague was diving off Key West Bight, a historic seaport in Key West, was hit by the propellers of a 72-foot yacht.

Trauma Star.jpgJudy Montague was transported by helicopter to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami where she underwent surgery to her leg. Her status, while unknown, has been reported as remaining critical.

The cause of the incident is still unclear today. Capt. Pedro Arpon, who was operated the yacht, The Palagon, at the time, is still being heard by the investigators and charges have not been levied yet. The first element of answer came from Officer Bobby Dube of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) who is investigating the incident.

Published on:

Published in a recent article in the Miami Herald, two boaters from Key West died in a boating accident that occurred at Boca Chica Channel. According to a fisherman who witnessed the accident and called 911, the boat collided with a bridge piling at the Lower Keys bridge in the evening hours of Sunday, July 1st.

boca chica channel.jpgBoth men aboard the 150-horsepower vessel were catapulted on impact. One of the occupants, Stuart Chase Barber, 28, was found in the water about two hours after the accident. Gabriel Carlos Gonzalez, 35, was spotted earlier and rescued by helicopter. Intensive care treatment was administered at Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, but he died the following morning due to severe injuries.

While the U.S. Coast Guard and the the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission continue to investigate the cause of the accident, the Citizen, The Florida Key’s only daily newspaper, reported that Investigators are awaiting toxicology reports to determine whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash, according to Officer Robert Dube, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

This is the latest reminder to all Floridians that accidents and fatalities spike during and around festivities of National Holidays, such as the 4th of July. The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles just published statistics about last year’s July 4th, which also serve as a reminder to all Floridians and visitors to drive safely: “During the 96 hours of the fourth of July Holiday in 2011, 29 people were killed on Florida roads. . . . There were 90 DUI arrests during the July 4th weekend in 2011 (from July 1 to July 4, 2011) and 5 deaths related to alcohol.”
Continue reading

Badges