A jet ski accident sent a 14-year-old to Broward General Hospital Friday afternoon after a crash at a lake at Markham Park in Broward County, Florida, an NBC news affiliate reported.
Officials said Tyler Goldberg apparently drove his jet ski into a wooden dock at a high rate of speed. Video footage captured by an NBC news helicopter showed a jet ski floating near a dock at the boat-loading area of the lake. It appeared that the jet ski handlebars had been knocked off.
The teenager was heading for the dock, but couldn’t turn the handlebar, officials said. He then lost control of the watercraft and plowed right into the dock. The exact cause of the jet ski accident is yet to be determined.
Goldberg’s family was on shore and saw him hit the dock, the article said. A police official said that Goldberg could have turned off the power when he saw the dock approaching. That could have caused him to lose steering control because a personal watercraft needs that power to move.
Officials at the scene said Goldberg suffered chest, head and neck injuries. He is listed in critical condition, according to NBC reports.
Family members at the lake rushed to Broward General Hospital to be with the teen. Officials said he was wearing a life jacket at the time of the crash and is old enough to drive a personal watercraft.
We’ve seen a variety of boating accidents and jet ski accidents are a big part of them simply because of the higher speed at which they travel. Jet ski accidents may happen because of negligence on the part of other boater, a defective product or dangerous conditions in the water.
At Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys we have represented several clients who have been injured in boating accidents and other watercraft accidents as well as auto, bus and train accidents.
The National Association of Rescue Divers states than anyone below the age of 16 must have a boating safety certificate, which is usually obtained by taking a boating safety course. The group offers some important tips for safely operating a personal watercraft:
* Check your State regulations and read the user’s manual Wear proper safety equipment * Wear the proper safety equipment * Never operate your personal water craft without the safety lanyard attached to you. The lanyard cuts the engine if you fall, and could save a long swim home.
* Stay out of swimming areas and away from wildlife.
* Never operate at night, or with two water skiers. Operate the craft only between sunrise and sunset.
* Some safety advocates advise a helmet for anyone under 18.
* Keep a lookout for other boats and water craft, especially sail boats. Stay at least 100 feet away. Collisions are the most common type of personal water craft accidents.
* Respect the rights of others. This includes not following boats to closely, or jumping a boat’s wake.
* Stay away from anglers and canoeists.
* Be conscious of the noise your craft makes.
* Do not operate your water craft under the influence of alcohol * Know the water you’re operating in so you can avoid weeds, rocks, and sandbars.