Anthony Cole DeWeese, an 8-year-old boy was killed and five others were injured in a San Diego boating accident the night of December 20, 2009, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The accident occurred after a U.S. Coast Guard vessel responding to an emergency call struck a pleasure boat during the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. The 33-foot Coast Guard boat crashed into the smaller 24-foot boat near Harbor Island. Both boats made it to shore. The child, who was a passenger in the smaller boat, was transported to a local hospital where he later died. Officials said five people on the smaller boat were also taken to a hospital with major injuries. Several local law enforcement agencies as well as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the incident.
My heart goes out to the family of young Anthony, who has been tragically killed during this holiday cruise, when thousands had come out to witness the lighted boat parade. The news report indicates that the child was the son of Alan DeWeese, the pleasure boat’s captain. Tragic! Please keep this grieving family in your prayers. I also wish the five injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. They will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Boating Accident Statistics
Boating accidents are apparently on the rise and most of them involve recreational vessels such as personal watercraft. According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2007 boating statistics, the number of boating-related deaths in the United States fell from 710 in 2006 to 685 in 2007. But the number of boating accidents increased from 4,967 to 5,191. Boating related injuries rose from 3,474 to 3,673 and damages increased from $43 million to $53 million during that period.
Causes and Liability Issues
In this particular case, it is not clear what caused this horrific collision on the water. The news article indicates that the Coast Guard boat was speeding in response to a call, with its emergency lights flashing. A witness says she then saw the Coast Guard boat turn suddenly and head in another direction when it crashed into the pleasure boat. It is also not clear whether the smaller pleasure boat was moving or anchored at the time of the crash.
I trust that the official investigation will reveal more details as far as how and why this accident took place. But I would urge the family of the deceased boy and the other seriously injured victims to retain the services of a reputed San Diego personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled boating accident cases. If an investigation determines that the Coast Guard boat did not follow proper procedures at the time, their agency could be held liable for the accident, the boy’s wrongful death and the other serious personal injuries. Any claim involving a governmental agency in California or the United States has time limits. So it is important that injured victims and their families contact a skilled injury lawyer at the earliest.
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.