October 2010 Archives

October 30, 2010

F/V Miss Alberta Capsized off Amelia Island, Florida Killing Long Time Shrimper Bruce Chirst



Bruce Christ a crew member of the Mayport, Florida shrimp boat Miss Alberta died October 25, 2010 when the vessel capsized near Amelia Island, Florida. The NOAA weather buoy off St. Augustine, Florida recorded 5 feet seas with winds gusting to 21 mph when the vessel capsized. Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Karen Parker reported the Miss Alberta took on water quickly in the lower compartments. Two of the other fishermen on board swam out an open window when the vessel began to roll over. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard are continuing their investigation.

Commercial fishing is the most dangerous job in the nation. Fishermen face many perilous situations which are simply not present in land based occupations. Thankfully, maritime law protects the families of fishermen who unfortunately die while working the sea. If you like to learn more about maritime law as it relates to fishermen death claims, we invite you to read the following articles:

October 28, 2010

Boat Capsizes off Provincetown Leaving 1 Dead and 3 Injured


WCVB in Boston reports 1 person died and 3 injured when their 20' pleasure boat capsized off of Provincetown, Massachusetts on October 8, 2010. A distress call was received after 9 in the morning and the Coast Guard immediately dispatched a rescue vessel to the area. The Coast Guard found the three boaters floating in the 61 degree water about a mile of Race Point. Two were conscious and wearing life jackets. The third was unresponsive and was taken to Cape Cod Hospital. There he was later pronounced dead.

There are several reasons why a recreational boat could capsize. The Most common causes are improper handling (human error) and improper design. If you would like to learn more about the similar boat accidents and associated legal claims under maritime law, feel free to read the following article:

October 24, 2010

Iraq War Veteran Killed in a Boating Collision on the St. Johns River


The Associated Press reports Iraq War veteran Jamie Orsten was kill on October 22, 2010 when the boat he was aboard collided with another watercraft while on the St. Johns River near the I-4 bridge. Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission states Orsten was thrown from his boat and later recovered by divers from the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

Since the St. John's River is navigable -- meaning that it can be used to transport boats to the Atlantic Ocean -- maritime law (not Florida tort law) controls any claims by Mr. Orsten's estate and family against any wrongdoers. If you wish to learn more about the maritime law as it relates to this type of situation, feel free to read the following article.

October 20, 2010

Winter Haven Woman Killed in an Airboat Collision on a Canal that Joins Lake Tiger and Lake Kissimmee


TheLedger.com reports Winter Haven woman Jessica Wallace was killed on October 9, 2010 when 2 airboats collided in a canal that joins Lake Tiger and Lake Kissimmee. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) investigation revealed an airboat, operated by John Pittas of Lakeland, was headed west toward Lake Tiger while another airboat, operated by Brad Wallace of Winter Have, was coming from the opposite direction. The FWC report states Pittas and Brad Wallace steered away from each other, but the boats slid into one another. The propeller of Pittas' airboat went through its protective cage system and struck Jessica Wallace on her left side.

Airboat accidents happen often in Florida. Depending on where the accident happens, either Florida State or Federal Maritime law will apply to the claims brought by the decedent's estate and family. This is important as Florida State and Federal Maritime law provides for different claims, standards or care and even damages. If you would like to learn more about this complex area of the law, we invite you to read the following article: