November 2010 Archives

November 30, 2010

1 Airlifted After Boat Crashes Near Haulover Park, Florida

A recreational boat landed completely out of the water atop park benches and a picnic table at Haulover Park, in North Miami Beach, Florida on the afternoon of November 27, 2010.

Sean Patnik, 21, a guest aboard the boat was airlifted to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami with injuries. His father, the vessel’s operator, admitted he was showing off and being competitive with another boater when he hit a wake and lost control of the boat. Another guest stated “We were coming down the channel and we hit a big wake. The boat just lost control and we came up right up here.” The four other guests were treated and released at the accident scene.

November 29, 2010

2 Die Others Hurt in a Biscayne Bay Florida Speedboat Collision

A collision involving two boats in Biscayne Bay has claimed the life of two people and critically injured another. Police believe all six on board the boats were friends but have not released the names of the deceased; however, CBS 4 news is reporting one of the deceased is Steven Posner of Miami Beach.

Miami Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue vessels, including air rescue, respond to a mayday call after a high speed accident involving two speedboats occurred about a mile east of Matheson Hammock Park in Biscayne Bay. Paramedics hoisted a survivor into the air rescue helicopter and flew him to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition. According to rescuers, a fourth individual was taken to the hospital by ground transport. Two others on the boats survived without apparent injury. "I've been out on a lot of boat collisions. It was a serious boat collision," said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Mark Houghtaling.

The FWC is now investigating the accident. "Every single aspect of this case is going to be looked into to find out what was the contributing causes to the accident," said FWC Officer Jorge Pino. "I mean, it's a tragedy that two people lost their lives on a beautiful day like today, so we want to get to the bottom of it. I want to get as much information as possible to try to make that determination as to what occurred and why it occurred."

Though the FWC stated the boats were traveling at a high rate of speed, they are not yet sure what led to the accident.

November 27, 2010

Cook Found Dead on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas

Fox 7 News (Miami) reports a crew member serving as a cook aboard Royal Caribbean's cruise ship Oasis of the Seas was found dead in his cabin. The cause of death is unknown at this time. The Oasis of the Seas is currently the largest cruise ship in the world.

November 23, 2010

36 Year Old Woman Dies Aboard Carnival Cruise Ship

The reports a 36 year old passenger was found unconscious in her cabin aboard the Carnival Liberty as the ship was heading to St. Thomas. The woman received medical attention on the cruise ship, but she was pronounced dead two hours later. The incident was reported to the FBI who is conducting an investigation. Agent Harry Rodriguez of the FBI in San Juan stated "It could be a possible homicide. It could be some other factor in the death of this individual, but we're still investigating this case at this time."

November 22, 2010

Delaware Man Dies in an Accident Aboard the F/V Fish Hawk Off Cape May, New Jersey

Daily reports that Maurice Warren, 51, of Milford, Delaware died while aboard the fishing vessel Fish Hawk 9 miles off the coast of Cape May, New Jersey. While aboard a charter with his family Warren fell hitting his head on the gunnel. A crew member sent a distress call to the Coast Guard. Coast Guard dispatched a vessel to meet the Fish Hawk and took over resuscitation efforts. Warren was transported to the Coast Guard station and was pronounced dead.

November 20, 2010

Oregon Crabber Severs Fingertips While Hauling Pots Off Bodega Bay

The Santa Rosa reports an Oregon man aboard the crab boat Carmillo severed the tips of two fingers on November 19, 2010 as he pulled the last crab pots onto the vessel about a half mile outside Bodega Bay. The U.S. Coast Guard stated the fisherman's fingertips were severed when they got caught in the crab block pulley system used to haul the crab pots on deck.

Fellow fishermen aboard the Carmillo reported the emergency to the Coast Guard. The fisherman was conscious and standing up when the Coast Guard arrived. The Coast Guard bandaged the hand and took him to shore. There a Bodega Bay Fire Department ambulance took the fisherman to Palm Drive Hospital in Sebastopol for further treatment.

November 18, 2010

Four Arrested in Connection with the Armed Robbery of Celebrity Cruise Line Passengers in St. Kitts reports St. Kitts' authorities have arrested four persons in connection with the November 14, 2010 armed robbery of Celebrity Cruise Lines' passengers aboard a tour bus.

Seventeen passengers from the Celebrity cruise ship Mercury were held by gunpoint and robbed last Sunday. The passengers were on organized excursion tour when the attacked occurred. It is reported that the attackers blocked the road with a tree and when the bus came to a stop a rock was thrown through the windshield. The men then boarded the tour bus and demanded the cruise passengers to hand over their valuables at gunpoint. As a direct result of the robbery, Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruises have stopped all visits to St Kitts.

It is unclear whether that area of St. Kitts has a history of armed attacks. Under U.S. Maritime Law, a cruise line may be held liable in civil court for passenger injuries arising from an attack if the cruise line knew or should have known that the area where the passengers were invited to visit on an excursion is dangerous and failed to warn of the danger. Celebrity's cruise ticket requires its passengers to file any lawsuit against the company in U.S. Federal Court located in Miami, Florida.

If you wish to learn more about a cruise line's legal obligations to its passengers in such situations, feel free to read the following article:

November 16, 2010

Tallahassee Scuba Diver Dies Off the Coast of Port St. Joe, Florida reports the Coast Guard is investigating the October 23, 2010 death of Tallahassee scuba diver Paula Grimes. According to the Coast Guard, Grimes was scuba diving in the Sherman Tug area with Daly's Dock and Dives out of Port St. Joe. She was a part of a 15 person dive chartered tour. A member of the dive party reported Grimes was found unresponsive, inverted and had dropped her gear. Coast Guard officials say Grimes was taken to the pier in Mexico Beach where EMS officials tried to resuscitate her, but she passed away. The Sherman Tug area lies approximately 15 miles from shore.

November 16, 2010

Coast Guard Ends Search for Laura Zekoll Who Went Missing After the Sailboat Rule 62 Capsized Off the Bahamas

Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the U.S. Coast Guard ended its search for the Laura Zekoll, 46, of Atlanta, Georgia. Zekoll was one of four people aboard the sailboat Rule 62, along with Richard and Debra Ross of Atlanta and David Sheppard of Ellsworth, Maine. The Rule 62 capsized on November 13, 2010 while the vessel was attempting to enter the Bahamas. According to the Cruising Rally Association, all four managed to get on a life raft with lifejackets on and tried to row to safety. "The life raft subsequently overturned in swells," the association said in an update. "Richard, Debra and David were separated from Laura and washed up on the beach. The Rosses and Sheppard were airlifted to safety after the Coast Guard received their emergency signal.

The Coast Guard employed a Jayhawk helicopter, Dolphin helicopter and C-130 airplane in its search and rescue mission. Chief Petty Officer Russell Tippets of the 7th Coast Guard District located in Miami, Florida stated, "After 25 hours of searching and covering more than 1,600 square miles, our search and rescue coordinators felt they had done everything possible to find this missing person."

November 16, 2010

Coast Guard Finds One Lobsterman Dead and One Alive After Their Vessel Jacquelyn Ann Capsized Near the Boston Harbor Islands

The reports the U.S. Coast Guard found 2 missing lobstermen after their vessel Jacquelyn Ann capsized near the Boston Harbor Islands. The Jacquelyn Ann left Wessagusset Yacht Club in Weymouth, Massachusetts on November 14, 2010 to retrieve lobster traps set near Hull Gut. After the Jacquelyn Ann was reported as being overdue, the Coast Guard launched boat crews from Station Boston and Station Point Allerton and a rescue helicopter was dispatched from Air Station Cape Cod. One lobsterman was found on Little Brewster Island and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment. The second lobsterman was found "unresponsive" in the water and was later pronounced dead.

Maritime law provides certain protections to commercial fishermen who were injured or killed while performing their duties. If you like to learn more about maritime law as it relates to fishermen personal injury or death claims, we invite you to read the following articles:

November 15, 2010

Coast Gurad Searches for Sinking Ship Off Port Canaveral Florida

The U.S. Coast Guard released a recording of a mayday call that it reports came from a ship sinking off the coast of Port Canaveral Florida. Coast Guard officials reported the distress call was received around 4:30 p.m. on November 14, 2010. The Coast Guard stated all communication with the vessel was lost after the distress call was received. The search for the ship continued on Monday with a helicopter, ship and Falcon jet crew dispatched to the area where the distress call stated the vessel was located. The distress call can be heard on's website.

November 15, 2010

Chicago Man Dies While Scuba Diving Off Looe Key Florida

The Florida Keynoter reports Scott Filippini, 46, of Chicago died on October 18, 2010 while diving off Looe Key in the Lower Florida Keys. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office states Filippini was participating in a dive operated by Looe Key Dive Center. The dive was in about 27 feet of water when Filippini surfaced and appeared to be in distress. He was brought aboard the dive boat not breathing and cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed. Filippini was brought to Dolphin Marina on Little Torch Key where paramedics took over treatment. He was then transported to Fishermen’s Hospital in Marathon and later pronounced dead.

November 15, 2010

6 Boaters Rescued Near the Entrance to Narragansett Bay

Six boaters were pulled from Rhode Island Sound by Coast Guard and Jamestown fire-rescue personnel on the evening of Nov. 6, 2010 after their 20' Boston Whaler overturned off Beavertail Point, near the entrance to Narragansett Bay. A Coast Guard rescue crew from Station Castle Hill rescued 3 of the boaters, while the Jamestown Marine Rescue Unit rescued the remainder. Seas were 5' and a gale warning in effect at the time of the accident. None of the boaters were seriously hurt in the incident.

November 15, 2010

3 Men Spent Nearly A Day in the Waters Off the Florida Coast When their Fishing Boat Capsized reports three men spent nearly a day lost at sea after their boat capsized off the coast of Florida. Ken Harper, Gilbert Gastineau and one other companion embarked on a fishing trip Friday, November 12, 2010. While off the Florida coast, the boat started filling up with water and began to capsize. The men tethered themselves together and tied themselves to part of the vessel that remained afloat. Because family knew the coordinates of where the men were fishing, the Coast Guard knew where to focus their rescue efforts. After nearly a day of searching, rescuers found the three men late Saterday morning. Luckily only one of the three was hospitalized with dehydration.

November 14, 2010

Passenger Medevaced off NCL'S Norwegian Spirit Cruise Ship While Returning to New Orleans

On November 13, 2010 at approximately 5:40 medical staff were called to tend to an ill passenger aboard NCL'S Norwegian Spirit. The passenger was later medevaced off the cruise ship by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter. At the time of the incident, the Norwegian Spirit was returning to New Orleans from a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise.

November 4, 2010

2 People Hospitalized in Kemah Waterway Boating Accident reports a boat carrying 5 people struck an unknown object in the Kemah Waterway near the Highway 146 Bridge on October 30, 2010. According to witnesses, the boat was able to dock at the closet pier and wait for the authorities. 2 of the 5 people onboard were hospitalized, 1 in serious condition. The remaining boaters were treated at the scene and released. Police indicated it was not known whether alcohol was involved.

Given fall weather conditions, many obstructions occur in waterways such as the one in Kemah. If you like to learn more about the maritime law governing boating accidents and personal injury claims where a boat strikes a submerged or semi-submerged object, we invite you to read the following article:

November 1, 2010

Bushnell, Florida Man Jeffery Lamb Charged with BUI Manslaughter for Running Over Carla Faul on the Withlacoochee River

Jeffery Lamb, 30, from Bushnell, Florida was charged with boating under the influence (BUI) manslaughter after running over and killing Carla Faul, 25, from Crystal River, Florida with a 20' pontoon boat

Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports Lamb was operating a 20' Sweetwater pontoon boat in Withlacoochee River 4 miles north of the State Road 44 bridge when Faul fell off the bow and was run over by the motor's propellers.

After passengers aboard the pontoon boat brought Faul back aboard, she was transferred to a nearby airboat which took her to Rutland Park Boat Ramp. Emergency medical crews from Lake and Sumter counties pronounced Faul dead at the scene.

Unfortunately people operate boats drunk and these sorts of accidents happens often in Florida. If you like to learn more about maritime law as it relates to BUI accidents, we invite you to read the following article: