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California’s Boating Accident Program Keeps Track of Statistics

California’s Boating Accident Program, part of the California Department of Boating and Waterways, compiles detailed statistics each year on the number and types of California boating accidents. In California, a boater who is in an accident must file a written report with the Department if the crash involved:

  • The death or disappearance of a person;
  • An injury requiring more than basic first aid;
  • Damage to a boat or other property costing more than $500; or
  • The loss of a boat.

Since 1999, the number of boating accidents has gradually decreased. 1999 saw 907 California boating accidents, but only 686 such accidents happened in 2008. The number of injuries in boating accidents was also lower than average in 2008; only 382 people were injured, compared to 524 people in 2000. On average, 50 Californians lose their lives each year in boating accidents. Boating accidents cause over $2,000,000 in property damage annually.

Southern California lakes and coasts, such as those around San Diego, see a higher number of accidents than the northern lakes and coasts, but a lower number of injuries. In 2008, for example, the southern coast saw 230 accidents but only 78 injuries, while the northern lakes saw 141 accidents and 82 injuries. In 2008, 12 boaters suffered fatal accidents while on a southern lake or coast.

Boating accidents often result from the carelessness or negligence of another boater. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, please contact an experienced San Diego boating accident lawyer. Attorney Steven A. Elia can help you understand your legal rights and options and will fight to win you the compensation you deserve. Call 619-444-2244 today to set up a free case evaluation.

San Diego Boat Accident Hearing Inquires into Child’s Death

The U.S. Coast Guard scheduled a hearing in early September in the case of an eight-year-old boy who was killed in a collision with a Coast Guard cutter, according to San Diego’s Channel 10 News.

The three Coast Guard petty officers involved in the San Diego boat accident have been charged with various offenses, including involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, aggravated assault, and dereliction of duty. During the hearing, the court will review the evidence and decide whether the case should proceed to trial.

The boy, a resident of Rancho Penasquitos, was aboard a boat in San Diego Bay with three families, who had ridden into the bay to watch the annual Parade of Lights. After the Coast Guard cutter collided with the families’ boat, the boy was rushed to the hospital, but did not survive his injuries. A four-year-old boy who was also on board had his skull fractured in the crash, but is recovering from his injuries.

San Diego Bay Fatal Boating Accident

Cell Phone Use Distracted Coast Guard Patrol Boat Crewmember

In its investigation of a fatal San Diego Bay boating accident that occurred in December 2009, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recently determined that a crewmember aboard the 33-foot Coast Guard patrol boat was using a cell phone. According to a news story, it is not known at this time whether the Coast Guard crewmember was talking on the cell phone or texting; however, the usage was not relevant to the vessel’s operation. An 8-year old boy from Rancho Penasquitos died in the San Diego boat crash that occurred during a boat parade, and five others were injured.

Recreational boating accidents in California can lead to serious injury and even death. While boat crashes involving Coast Guard vessels are relatively rare, this fatal accident has raised concern regarding the potential for distraction among Coast Guard crewmembers.

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