Speedboat Collision Injures Many
A 26-foot Wellcraft boat, owned and operated by Ernesto Antonio Calzado collided with a 36 Cerrera speedboat operated by Natalie Villa de Ray and capsized in Biscayne Bay on Sunday afternoon.
According to authorities Calzado’s boat was carrying one female passenger while Villa de Ray’s vessel was carrying 15 other people.
Carrera was heading west toward Black Point Marina near Sands Cat in Elliot Key when his vessel was T-boned by Villa de Ray’s boat.
The accident sent nine people to the hospital, one of which had to be airlifted to Kendall Regional Medical Center with head and leg trauma.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials said in a statement that they were surprised that no one was killed as a result of the crash. No one was wearing life jackets at the time of the accident and it is estimated that both vessels were travelling at speeds between 25 and 30 knots. According to Tow Boat U.S. Operators who salvaged the Wellcraft vessel, the damage to the boat was so extensive that it is a total loss.
Accident investigators are still examining all of the details of the crash, but so far, it does not appear that alcohol played a role. It was more likely either operator inexperience or failure to look out for the other vessel.
No citations have been issued in connection with the crash.
Because Florida boasts some of the country’s most incredible beaches, bays, rivers, and lakes and a wide range of recreational activities, boating is a favorite activity. Florida is ranked highest in the nation for the number of boats registered in the state.
But with increased numbers of boats on the waterways, come increased opportunities for having a boating accident.
According to recent research by the U.S. Coast Guard, while alcohol was a contributing factor to many boating accidents in the U.S., there can be other contributing factors such as inattentive operation of a boat, an inexperienced operator, excessive speeding, and failure to keep a lookout for other boats, objects and people that are in the water.
The types of accidents that happen on Florida’s waterways vary; however, the majority of accidents involve collisions with other water-going vessels. Other types of accidents involve collisions with fixed objects, ski accidents, flooding and capsizing. Any of these can cause serious property damage, injury or even death.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a boating accident, having good legal representation as soon as possible can make all the difference in how your case gets settled. Give our offices a call. We will discuss with you the specifics of your accident. Our firm has the resources to hire the experts and investigators that will to build a strong case so that you are able to recover compensation for your injuries, your pain and suffering and see that justice is served. We are just a phone call away and your initial consultation is without charge.