A fatal boating accident at Lake Havasu during the July 4th holiday weekend claimed two lives, according to a news report in the Havasu News. Tiffany Breslin, 14, of Murrieta and another unidentified 19-year-old woman died in the collision between a boat and a personal watercraft near the Needles Bridge. Officials are still looking into what caused the boating accident.
My condolences to the families of these two young women. Out on the river to have a good time and a horrible accident like this happens. If the families want to know their rights and options or just want the wrongdoers held accountable, they would be well served consulting with California boating accident lawyers with a history of boating accident cases.
My family often takes our personal watercraft, SeaDoos, to this very spot to spin, jump and skid across the water in this less trafficked, calmer water area. Usually the area up and down river from the Needles Bridge is a much safer area than down river around Lake Havasu City or up river in the Laughlin/Bullhead City area.
Every summer, boating accidents seem to be on the rise and most of them involve recreational vessels such as personal watercraft. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the number of boating-related deaths fell from 710 in 2006 to 685 in 2007. But other casualty figures rose. The number of boating accidents increased from 4,967 to 5,191; boating injuries rose from 3,474 to 3,673 and damages increased from $43 million to $53 million.
The Coast Guard’s study also reveals many interesting findings. More than two-thirds of all fatal boating accident victims drowned and of those, 90 percent were NOT wearing a life jacket. Only 14 percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received boating safety instruction. The top five contributing factors in boating accidents are: alcohol use, careless or reckless operation, passenger behavior and excessive speed.
These are factors all of us operating or riding in a boat must bear in mind. You don’t drink and drive a car. It’s not different for a boat. Please do not operate a boat when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Every boating operator should undergo safety training. And passengers or skiers should avoid risky behavior that could put both the boat operator and others at risk.
Boating accidents are governed by the same basic laws as other vehicle accidents as well as laws specifically addressing boating. Just as a negligent driver of an automobile can be held liable for injuries and damages they have caused, negligent boat operators can be held responsible for injuries they cause. Just as people injured physically or have suffered damage to their property in an automobile accident have a right to compensation, people injured in boating accidents have similar rights. If you have been injured in a boating accident or lost of family member due to a boating accident, contact us or any reputable law firm that handles watercraft accident cases.