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Pensacola Legal Blog

Boat accident during fishing event shows risks

The 2018 FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee hosted some great fishing by professionals, but it also played host to an accident between two of the boats involved in the event. Little is known about the details of the crash, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is still investigating. What we do know is that the two boats collided at an intersection, and that one of the angler's was thrown from his boat as a result of the crash. His co-angler also fell into the water.

One of the anglers suffered a back injury and had to be taken to a hospital for his injury. The other angler did not seek medical treatment after the accident.

Multiple incidents raising questions about Carnival cruises

Two separate incidents on Carnival cruise ships last month left the company reeling from a bunch of a bad publicity. it also left many people with questions about the overall safety of the cruise line.

The first incident happened when a cruise ship was headed for Cozumel, Mexico from New Orleans. On the second day of the five-day cruise, a 44-year-old woman was seen going overboard and the Mexican Navy took over search and rescue operations.

The hidden dangers aboard cruise ships

Have you ever been on a cruise? The cruise ships are amazing. There are spas, gyms, comedy clubs, parades, water parks, movie theaters and 24-hour pizza and ice cream available. With over 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members, it’s truly a floating city. However, like any other city, there’s crime.

There’s a hidden danger aboard the cruise ships, though with all the ingredients being there—abundant alcohol, a less vigilant mentality and no law enforcement—maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. Cruise ships can be dangerous. Even Carnival, which operates the world’s biggest cruise lines, said in a court filing: the “ticket contract makes absolutely no guarantee for safe passage, a seaworthy vessel, adequate and wholesome food, and sanitary and safe living conditions.”

Video shows negligent boat operator plowing into smaller vessel

An incredible video that has gone viral shows the harrowing moments before a small fishing boat was crushed by a larger motorboat. The incident was captured by a GoPro camera that was attached to the smaller fishing boat. The video shows three people enjoying a day out on the water before they realize that a large, speeding boat is approaching their vessel. They wave at it to get the operator's attention, but to no avail. They jump overboard just moments before the larger boat crushed their vessel.

The three people aboard the crushed vessel were injured in the incident, though the details and extent of the injuries were not made clear. The injured people are suing the driver of the other boat, a 75-year-old man who admitted to not being able to see over the bow of the boat.

Many legal issues possible out at sea

Imagine all the endless possibilities that can happen with waterborne vessels and their crews. Negligence could occur on a ship; a vessel could get into an accident, either with another vessel or due to unforeseen circumstances; or a shipyard may be at fault for damage or injuries involving something, or someone, at sea. There are infinite possibilities here, and they are all governed by admiralty and maritime law.

In Pensacola, Florida, the name to know for this area of law is John W. Merting. He has handled hundreds of cases over the years, ranging from shipyard accidents, to cruise ship accidents, to recreational boating issues, as well as Jones Act claims and injury claims at sea.

200+ Passengers Sickened On Cruise Ship Out Of Fort Lauderdale

Recently, over 200 people got ill on a Royal Caribbean cruise departing from Fort Lauderdale this past December. The five day trip to Jamaica was marred by an outbreak of the norovirus, which is a gastrointestinal disease spread by infected food and water.

Extra Hardships

Fire on Florida casino boat causes dramatic scene

A boat that takes passengers to and from the Florida mainland to an island offshore so that they can gamble at a casino caught fire recently, leaving 49 people in a dire situation that they thankfully escaped. The boat accident happened outside of Port Richey, FL. As it was leaving shore, the boat encountered some technical problems and the operator turned the vessel around to head back to shore.

However, before making it back, the boat burst into flames. 50 people were on board, and 49 made it back safely. Sadly, one passenger passed away after the accident. Some people did suffer smoke inhalation and chest pain after the incident. The fire was dramatic and spread rapidly, as you can see in the video in our source article.

Man tossed from boat, killed in accident

A 40-year-old man lost his life after his boat crashed against a sand bar near Hemp Key. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation is investigating the crash. The details released so far make it sound like the man was flung from his boat and then run over by the very vehicle he was once controlling. The crash occurred in the early evening, and it took emergency responders a long time to find the boat and access it due to shallow waters.

It is unclear if alcohol was involved in the crash, but it does mark the ninth fatal boat accident in Lee County in 2017. Obviously there is a lot more to learn here, but without more information to fill in the blanks, all we can do is speculate.

Lifeboat Incident Highlights Decommissioning Safety Issues

The recent incident on Shell UK’s offshore oil rig, the Brent Alpha, is just one indicator of the safety issues inherent in decommissioning. With no warning, a lifeboat on the rig lowered to the water during routine maintenance. The failure of the clutch securing the lifeboat to the rig did not cause any injuries but highlights the possible danger of aging rigs. The next several years will see a decommissioning boom with oceanic oil rigs.

Decommissioning Demands

New Year's Day boat accident injures 4 in Sarasota

The new year is only three days old, and we already have a serious recreational boating accident in Florida that left two men and two boys with injuries. The accident occurred just before noon on New Year's Day, when a speed boat crashed and capsized in Sarasota, Florida. It is believed that rough waters played a role in the accident. A small craft advisory was put in place in the afternoon on Monday, and it continued through Tuesday night.

The accident is under investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and there will surely be more information on this case very soon. In the meantime, we do not know the injuries suffered by the four people involved in this crash, nor do we have a definitive reason as to why the crash occurred.

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