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Officials Say Overcrowding was Cause of New York Yacht Accident

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New York boating accidentA 34-foot yacht, which capsized last year and killed three children, had tipped over because it was overcrowded, officials have said. According to a news report in The Associated Press, Nassau County prosecutors did not file criminal charges, noting that federal boating regulations do not require capacity limits for vessels 20 feet and longer. The pleasure yacht called Kandi Won had 17 adults and 10 children on board at a July 4 fireworks show when it capsized into the waters of Oyster Bay and sank. The children, ages 12, 11 and 7, drowned after they were trapped in the cabin.

The 52-page report compiled by Neil Gallagher, professor of marine engineering at the Webb Institute, noted that intoxication or the weather were not factors in this tragic boating accident. However, he did note that the accident was very likely “to have occurred given the loading.” Family members and safety advocates are calling for more stringent boating safety rules in the wake of this tragedy. This may also be a good time for legislators to review this policy and other recommendations for changes in the state laws regarding boating under the influence, boater training and safety inspections for boats.

U.S. Boating Accident Statistics

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 4,515 recreational boating accidents nationwide in 2012 in which 651 people died and about 3,000 were injured. The fatality rate was 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. Also, during the same year, 24 children under the age of 13 died while boating. Ten children or about 42 percent of the children who lost their lives in 2012 died from drowning. Only two of those children were wearing a life jacket as required by state and federal laws.

Liability Issues in Boating Accidents

Even if criminal charges are not filed in connection with a boating accident, an injured victim or the family of a deceased victim may still file a civil personal injury or wrongful death claim against the boat’s owner and/or operator. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, the manufacturer of a defective part or vessel may also be held liable. In such cases, plaintiffs must prove negligence on the part of the owner, operator or manufacturer and that the negligence directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries, damages and losses.

If you or a loved one has been injured or if you have lost a loved one as a result of a boating accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our skilled accident attorneys have a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com

Source: The Associated Press

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