A boat flipped over and capsized in Sarasota Bay on January first leaving four injured. Law enforcement located the boat in the early afternoon south of the John Ringling Causeway between Marina Jack and Bird Key. An inspection revealed damage to the boat’s hull, windshield and propeller casing. It has been reported that the boat was en route to a poker run where high speed and performance vessels gather to participate in various activities. Small Craft advisories were posted at the time of the accident and rough weather is believed to be a contributing factor for the accident.
A Fort Myers man has died last weekend after being ejected from the boat he was traveling aboard. The boating accident occurred near Hemp Key off Pine Island at 5:30 in the afternoon. Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigation reveals that Canaan Johnson was thrown from the boat when it struck the sand bar and then the boat ran over him. Three other people were aboard the 19’ boat at the time of the accident. No other injuries were reported. First responders arrived at the accident scene within an hour but had difficulty reaching the boat due to the shallow water. Mr. Johnson was taken to the Pineland Marina where he was pronounced dead.
A Florida Jet Ski accident leaves a man unconscious. The accident occurred on December 3, 2017 and was videoed by an off-duty policeman who was the first on the scene to render assistance. Despite wearing a lanyard attached to a switch designed to cut off the engine when the rider is thrown off the Jet Ski, the machine was still running after the accident. It is unknown at this time if the Jet Ski was rented or owned by the rider. Florida has strict laws concerning the renting of all personal watercrafts including Jet Skis. These laws require the rental company to provide detailed instruction on the safe handling and navigation of these watercrafts. If these instructions are not properly given, a court may find the rental company liable for the accident. It has been reported that the victim is making a steady recovery.
The 37th Annual Key West Super Boat International World Championship took place Thursday through Sunday. On Thursday morning, a 50-foot powerboat flipped over while heading south on the bayside of Marathon about a quarter mile of mile marker 48.5. The 50-foot power boat made by Rhode Island manufacturer Outerlimits was part of the Florida Powerboat Club’s annual poker run, which includes boats cruising from Miami to Key West. The boat was headed to Key West for display during race weekend. But, while on the way, it went out of control and flipped over killing one and injuring three others.
Joseph Sgro, 63, from Long Island was one of two operators of the boat at the time of the accident and was operating the throttles when the boat rolled over. Sgro was airlifted to a Miami hospital by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Trauma Star air ambulance where he was later pronounced dead. Three others were taken to Mariners Hospital in Tavernier with injuries including a broken shoulder blade. The accident is still under investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Per reports, Sgro was a longtime powerboat racer with more than a dozen national and world titles in power boating. We extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones of Mr. Sgro.
Two boaters were found dead Sunday night around 8:30 p.m. following their airboat flipping at around 5:00 p.m. near the Lone Cabbage Fish Camp in central Brevard. Four men were on the airboat at the time of the accident; two were able to make it to shore without incident and two others went missing in the water. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Brevard County Sheriff’s officials responded to the scene of the accident and spent several hours searching for the two missing men with the assistance of the Brevard Sheriff’s office agricultural unit and dive team as well as the agency’s helicopter. The bodies of the two drowned men were located at approximately 8:30 p.m. They are described as men between the ages of 70-80 and it remains unknown whether they were wearing life jackets. The area where the incident occurred is a popular tourist stop for those interested in flat-bottom boat rides. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of these two men.
This incident is the second airboat incident in less than a month. In late October, we wrote about another airboat incident involving an airboat that crashed head-on into a tree at a high rate of speed and which resulted in critical injuries to two of the fifteen passengers. Florida law does not require boaters to obtain a license. A boating safety course is required for anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 who operates a vessel powered by 10 horsepower or more. Still, the law provides several exemptions. Additionally, with respect to airboats, there are no separate education requirements.
Our board certified attorneys are highly experienced in handling wrongful death claims resulting from airboat collisions. With accidents involving airboats, there are several important considerations such as whether the accident occurred on navigable waters, whether the airboat was properly maintained and inspected, and if a tour company was involved, whether the tour company and tour guide were properly licensed.
Two boats collided on Saturday morning at Lake Talquin in Leon County, Florida resulting in the disappearance of a 10-year-old boy. According to reports, the collision occurred due to miscommunication between the two boats. Two adults, a man and a woman, from one of the vessels were injured and were transported to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. The 10-year-old, John Skylar Brogdon, was reported missing following the accident. According to a family member of the boy, they were fishing and had visited a few fishing holes when John wanted to use the restroom. As the boat was headed to the landing for John to use the restroom, the accident occurred.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the accident and jointly conducted a search and rescue operation for the boy starting at around 2:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon and continuing into Monday morning. Per reports there are approximately 15 divers searching for the child. Family members and friends are also helping, bringing their own boats to help with the search, which has unfortunately turned into a recovery operation. As of Sunday afternoon, law enforcement was awaiting for the arrival of sonar equipment to assist in the search.
The cause of the accidents remains under investigation by FWC.
A Tom & Jerry’s Airboat Rides crash injured several passengers during a morning tour. The airboat tour boat operating out of central Florida lost control and crashed head-on into a tree at a high rate of speed. Out of the fifteen aboard, fourteen were injured, two of which sustained critical injuries.
The tour started at 10:00 A.M. on the morning of October 24th. There were three parties aboard, a father and son from the United Kingdom, a group of ten also from the United Kingdom and a family of three from the United States. The guide took the fifteen passengers to an area near the landing which contained cypress trees where he pointed out wildlife and provided historical information. The tour guide then operated the airboat down a narrow creek in the direction of Lake Panasoffkee at a fast rate of speed sweeping right then sweeping left in a serpentine type pattern. While sweeping left, the boat collided head-on with a tree on the bank. The collision with the tree was at such a force that many of the passengers were injured as they struck the railings and seats in front of them. After the collision, it was discovered that the tour guide did not have a radio and was unable to obtain a signal on his cell phone. It was one of the injured passengers who contacted Tom & Jerry’s Airboat Rides to report the accident and the need for help. The airboat tour company sent another boat that ferried the passengers back to the landing where first responders were waiting.
Our board certified lawyers have vast experience handling personal injury claims resulting from airboat collisions. There are several key factors that come into play when prosecuting airboat personal injury claims. These include whether the accident occurred on navigable waters, whether the tour company and tour guide were properly licensed as well as whether the airboat was properly maintained and inspected. Our lawyers also have success in obtaining court rulings invalidating the personal injury waivers typically used by such tour operators.
A personal watercraft crashed into a boat on Sunday at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Lake Louise in Windermere, Florida. Larry Marin, 37, the operator of the personal watercraft was pronounced dead upon arrival at a nearby hospital. Glorimar Correa, 40, the passenger on the personal watercraft and William Bryant, 39, the operator of the boat were both transferred to Orlando Regional Medical Center with serious injuries. Per reports, the watercraft crashed into the boat with such force that it sank the personal watercraft. Witness, Carina Lee Rodriguez said her friends rescued the victims from the water and took them ashore. She reported the female victim could not breath and couldn’t feel her legs and the man, presumably Marin, was bleeding. Orange County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit responded to the scene and continues to investigate.
Dr. Craig Butz, 52, of Altamonte Springs was operating a personal watercraft with his 4-year-old daughter as a passenger when his jet ski collided with a center console boat operated by Thomas Carey, 67, of Clearwater. The collission happened near 941 Bay Esplanade near Clearwater Beach around 4:45 p.m. on Sunday. Dr. Butz was taken to Morton Plant Hospital in critical condition where he died upon arrival. His 4-year-old daughter was airlfited to Bayfront Health Hospital where she remains in critical condition. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is currently investigating the incident.
Dr. Butz was Executive Director of Pepin Academies, a charter school for children with learning disabilities. We extend our deepest sympathies to Dr. Butz’s family and loved ones and wish his young child a speedy recovery.
Two tourists are reported dead after the 10-foot Yamaha Waverunner they were riding on slammed into a concrete bridge support in the area of the Bridge Road Causeway, north of the MacArthur Causeway.
Sabrina Daniels, 34, of Atlanta, Georgia and Julio Monteiro, 30, of Brockton, Massachusetts traveled with friends to attend the Miami Beach Kizomba Festival. On Monday, the group of friends rented a yacht near Star Island and took turns riding jet skis. At about 5:30 p.m. Monteiro was driving the watercraft traveling eastbound towards the causeway, when both he and Daniels were ejected into the water after hitting the concrete bridge arch.
Daniels and Monteiro were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, where they died from their injuries. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is currently investigating the crash.