Personal Injury and Auto Accident Attorneys Serving Florida
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Sarasota, Florida 941-954-1234
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Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

The lawyers of Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh have more than 100 years of combined Florida legal experience in personal injury, wrongful death and negligence cases. David Goldman, and Michael Babboni have each represented accident victims throughout Florida for over twenty …

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Boating Accidents Blog Post

Teen Dies in St. Pete Boat Crash

Florida’s Gulf Coast, with its picturesque coastline and abundant waterways, offers endless opportunities for boating enthusiasts to enjoy the sun, sea and sand. However, along with the thrill of boating comes the risk of accidents and injuries, some of which turn out to be fatal. This can be true even when there’s no sign of reckless operation. 

A tragic incident in St. Petersburg left 15-year-old Collin Moorefield teenager dead when the 18-foot vessel operated by his friend crashed into the dock. Moorefield’s friend, Christian Tharakan, also 15, was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. Authorities were still investigating what led to the crash. One witness said he did not see anything that indicated carelessness or reckless behavior. 

Understanding the factors that often lead to boating accidents is essential for staying safe on the water and for litigating personal injury and wrongful death claims arising from these incidents. Common causes of injuries on the water include the following:  

  • Reckless operation — Speeding, erratic maneuvering failure to yield, and ignoring navigational rules lead to numerous boating accidents. Inexperienced or careless operators may underestimate the dangers of reckless behavior, putting themselves and others at risk of collisions, capsizing or falls overboard.
  • Alcohol consumption — Just like on the roads, alcohol impairment is a significant factor in many marine accidents. Florida law prohibits operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, some boaters may disregard these laws, leading to impaired judgment, decreased coordination and slower reaction times. 
  • Inattention and distraction — With the allure of the Gulf Coast’s stunning scenery and recreational activities, it's easy for boaters to become distracted or lose focus while operating their vessels. Checking mobile devices, engaging in conversation, listening to music or being preoccupied with other passengers can divert attention from navigation and potential hazards, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Inexperienced operators — Operating a boat requires knowledge, skill, and experience. Inexperienced operators may lack the proficiency to navigate safely, handle emergency situations or understand maritime regulations. Proper training and education are essential for all boaters to minimize the risk of accidents and promote responsibility on the water.
  • Weather conditions —Florida's weather can be unpredictable, with sudden changes in wind, rain and sea conditions. Ignoring weather forecasts or venturing out in adverse conditions can lead to rough seas, reduced visibility and difficulty maintaining control of the vessel. Boaters should always be vigilant and prepared to adjust their plans based on changing weather conditions to avoid accidents and ensure safety.

By understanding these factors and taking proactive measures to mitigate risks, boaters can enjoy their time on Florida’s waters safely and responsibly. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boat accident due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, our dedicated team at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh in Sarasota is here to help. We have extensive experience representing clients in boat accident cases and are committed to maximizing the compensation you receive. Please call 941-954-1234 or contact us online for a confidential free consultation.

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Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh
2822 University Parkway
Sarasota, Florida, 34243 USA