June 2011 Archives

June 28, 2011

Florida Teen Injured in Boating Accident

First Coast News reports a 13 year old Florida boy suffered wounds to his face after a boat accident on June 25th.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators stated the teenager was operating a small boat in canals around Granada Terrace in Ponte Vedra, Florida when he lost control and either fell or jumped into the canal. While in the water, the boat's propeller struck him on the side of his face.

The teenager was medevaced by helicopter to Shands Jacksonville for medical attention and is recovering from wounds.

News Coverage of the Boating Accident

June 22, 2011

Florida TowBoat U.S. Captain Attempts Ocean Rescue Drunk

Timothy Pooler.jpgThe South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports Boynton Beach, Florida TowboatU.S. captain Timothy R. Pooler attempted to rescue a disabled recreational boat drunk on June 19th. Lionel Casey and Lewis Dames of Fort Lauderdale were 25 miles off Delray Beach when their motor died. Pooler, 63, arrived at the scene four hours after being dispatched drunk. After attaching a tow line, he towed the disabled boat for several hours in circles. At dawn, Pooler asked Casey and Dames to drive his tow boat, which then ran out of fuel. Casey and Dames were then able to get their engine running again and began towing Pooler's boat until they decided to cut him loose. Shortly thereafter their boat broke down again and a second tow boat delivered the men to shore 12 hours after their initial breakdown.

The FWC officers investigating the incident stated Pooler admitted to drinking alcohol the day before, saying he shouldn't have reported for duty. Officers said Pooler also admitted to being on several prescription medications. Pooler was arrested and charged with boating under the influence.

June 20, 2011

Passenger Rescued after Falling Overboard from the NCL Norwegian Spirit

Norwegian Spirit Accident Lawyer.jpgUSA Today reports a Norwegian Spirit cruise ship passenger was rescued on night of June 19th after falling overboard near New Orleans.

NCL said in a statement the passenger fell overboard at approximately 8 p.m., some three hours after the ship departed from New Orleans. At the time, Norwegian Spirit was sailing down the Mississippi River en route to a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise.

Ship's officers immediately deployed a rescue boat, and the passenger was recovered and returned safely back to the ship. The medical team on board attended to his injuries and arrangements were made to disembark the guest for further treatment. The circumstances surrounding the event and the passenger's current condition are unknown.

If you would like to learn more about a cruise line's duty towards passengers who fall overboard, read the following article written by Brais & Brias' cruise injury lawyers entitled:

June 19, 2011

Sick Passenger Evacuated Off Carnival Cruise Ship Paradise

Cruise Accident Lawyer Attorney.jpgThe Sacramento Bee reports a 51-year-old passenger who fell ill on Carnival Cruise Lines' ship Paradise off the San Diego Coast been evacuated by a Coast Guard boat crew for treatment on the mainland.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Henry Dunphy stated the passenger experienced convulsions and was showing signs of a stroke during dinner Saturday night. A 41-foot Coast Guard utility boat met the Carnival Paradise just outside of San Diego Bay early on June 19th. The passenger was transferred to San Diego County emergency medical personnel. The passenger's condition is unknown.

June 19, 2011

Brais & Brais' Lawyers Sue Celebrity Cruises for a Passenger's Wrongful Death

Celebrity Cruise Accident Lawyer.jpgBrais & Brais' lawyers sued Celebrity Cruises in Miami, Florida Federal Court for a passenger's wrongful death. Joseph Gavigan Jr., from Orleans, Massachusetts, embarked the Solstice cruise ship on January 30, 2011 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A Norovirus outbreak occurred during the cruise. Joseph Gavigan contracted the illness and died in his cabin on February 5, 2011.

The Wrongful Death Complaint alleges Celebrity Cruises is negligent as it failed to properly sanitize the cruise ship, failed disinfect plates, cups, food trays, utensils, ice machines and drinking fountains as well as failed to quarantine infected passengers and crewmembers exhibiting signs of Norovirus. Additionally, the Complaint alleges Celebrity Cruises hired inadequate shipboard doctors who did not know how to properly treat Norovirus. The Complaint further alleges Celebrity Cruises knew the Solstice was a "sick ship" as passengers and crew were reporting symptoms of Norvirus on the two sailings prior to Joseph Gavigan embarking on the cruise ship but did nothing to warn the 80-year -old gentlemen of the danger.

The Centers for Decease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated 118 cruise passengers and 10 crewmembers reported ill during the voyage. Click here to see the CDC'S investigation update on the Solstice's outbreak. Norovirus outbreaks are prevalent on cruise ships. The CDC reported four cruise lines including, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Oceania and Princess had ships returned to port with gastrointestinal illness outbreaks in 2011 alone. It is for this reason, a cruise line acting for the safety of their passengers must take significant measures to adequately disinfect their ships and screen passengers and crew exhibiting signs of Norovirus.

Joseph Gavigan was survived by 8 children, 21 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.

June 19, 2011

Father Charged with Reckless Boating in Connection with a Crash that Killed 2 Teens

Brais & Brais reported in February, Ted Hanner, 49, of Middleburg, Fl was operating his 18' Baja motor boat when he crashed into a tree covered shoreline killing his son Travis and son's girlfriend Halee Mickey. Recently the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) cited Hanner for reckless operation.

The FWC documents reveal that Hanner left the Baja's controls and was pumping a fuel line bubble at the back of the boat when the collision occurred. Hanner told investigators the Baja's motor had been cutting out and pumping the fuel bubble was the only way to keep the motor going. The boat was on-plane and was going west about 25 mph when it veered into the north shoreline. Travis Hanner and Mickey, who were sitting in the front of the boat on each side of a large cooler, were each struck in the head and upper body by tree limbs hanging 10 feet out over the water, the report says.

The boat continued all the way under the limbs and struck the tree trunk. The FWC report indicates the impact shattered both of the boat's windows and pulled the driver's seat away from the deck, cracked the motor housing and bent the boat controls.Ted Hanner, who was thrown to the deck by the impact, suffered minor injuries. He managed to pull the boat out of the trees and get it underway again while searching for help, the report says.

News Coverage of the Accident