News outlets are reporting that Daniel Pena, a 33-year-old-man from the Lantana area, was knocked off his boat after making contact with a large wake cast from a passing boat in the Intracoastal Waterway. After entering the water, Pena’s boat ran him over and the propeller of the outboard engine struck his head. The incident caused Pena to lose all his teeth and part of his tongue. He remains in intensive care at Delray Medical Center and his doctors opine that his injuries will require at least 20 rounds of reconstructive surgeries to his skull, mouth, nose and cheeks. He will be transferred to Jackson Memorial Hospital to undergo the additional surgeries.
Pena had his nephews, Daniel and David Garza, of West Palm Beach, ages 29 and 26, respectively, and their friend aboard his 18 foot center console Mako flats boat. Daniel Garza entered the water to save his uncle and pulled him back on to the boat. While rescuing his uncle, Daniel suffered a slight injury. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the incident.
Pena’s family has created a GoFundMe webpage to help cover his mounting medical costs.
Under maritime law, a boat operator is responsible for the wake his boat makes. If that wake is excessively large and causes injury or damages to others, he is liable for the injury and damages under a negligence theory. Our Florida Maritime Board Certified attorneys have years of experiences in handling such cases. If you or a loved one was injured by a boat’s wake, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.
Photo Credit: Palm Beach Post