Articles Posted in Boating Accidents


TAMPA, FL – A person who had gone missing after falling from a 20-foot boat was found and later declared dead, and another was hospitalized following a boat collision Wednesday. 

This crash occurred around 4:15 a.m. when the boat captain of the 20-foot boat hit a barge near Howard Franklin Bridge, according to WFLA

Tampa Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) all responded to this collision. 



MANATEE COUNTY, FL – A 46-year-old man passed away Friday, June 17, after a boat vessel collided with a channel marker in the Sarasota Bay, off the coast of Longboat Key. 

The fatal incident happened at around 6:30 p.m., while the vessel was traveling on the Intracoastal Waterway near the 600th block of Jungle Queen Way, MySunCoast reports. 

Longboat Key Fire Rescue crews said that among the seven people involved, two were “severely injured.” Both victims were rushed to a local trauma center where one of the patients, identified as 46-year-old Mark Hall, was pronounced deceased. 


PINELLAS COUNTY, FL – A 60-year-old man was thrown from his Sea-Doo personal watercraft and died after he crashed into a sandbar Saturday. 

This jet ski collision happened near Caladesi Island near the Dunedin Causeway, according to ABC Action News. First responders took the man — Gary Nolan — to a hospital for treatment of face lacerations, where he was later declared deceased. 

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office started an investigation and confirmed that impairment did not play a role in this crash. 


ST. PETERSBURG, FL – A 15-year-old boy was operating a 18-foot boat Sunday when it crashed into a dock and fatally injured his passenger, another 15-year-old boy.

This incident happened around 4:30 p.m. in the area of Bayshore Boulevard Northeast and Connecticut Avenue Northeast, according to MySunCoast

Emergency crews were able to rescue the 15-year-old boat operator while his 15-year-old passenger was pulled from the water by a good Samaritan and a St. Petersburg police officer. 


The Gulf Islands Ferry, which links Bradenton Riverwalk to Anna Maria City Pier, has officially set sail as of Sunday.

Passengers will be transported by ferry to Anna Maria City Pier from the day dock near the River Dance apartments on the Bradenton Riverwalk. According to a spokesperson for the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the service will also make a stop at the Bridge Street pier in Bradenton Beach in the coming weeks.

Local businesses on the island are hoping that they will be able to recruit new employees who live off the island as the ferry could be a way for staff to commute to work.

The ferry could also relieve some of the traffic on the island.

Currently, the ferry allows large luggage and coolers, but no bicycles.

This new ferry has been in the works for about 15 years, so it is an exciting mode of transportation for Manatee County. Our Tampa Bay Area Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want everyone to stay safe when travelling by ferry, so here are some safety tips to keep in mind.

Before You Board

  • Check that your car is locked and that valuables are hidden.
  • Make sure you have enough time to board before your departure.
  • Avoid climbing over railings or other obstacles.
  • Do not get on the ferry while using a skateboard or rollerblades.
  • Avoid touching, moving, or modifying ramps or walkways.
  • Stay in well-lit places and within sight of arriving vessels at night.
  • Children should not play on the dock.

While on the Ferry

  • Keep bags out of the way and request assistance with storing bulky items.
  • Take note of the locations of the exits and lifejackets.
  • Do not hang your head out the window.
  • Avoid standing on top of seats.
  • Children should not be seated on your shoulders or railings.
  • Never sit on the bow or on the edge of the ferry as you do not want to accidentally fall in the water.
  • Maintain your seat, as ferries are prone to unexpected fluctuations in the water.
  • Follow the instructions of your crew.

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL – A 14-year-old boy was sent to the hospital after he fell off a boat after a two-boat crash near St. Petersburg Saturday. 

WSVN said this collision took place near Egmont Key. The boy sustained wounds on his arm due to the impact of the propeller. 

It is unclear what his current condition is. 


SARASOTA COUNTY, FL – A 22-year-old woman was airlifted to a hospital after the jet ski she was riding on collided with another jet ski in Little Sarasota Bay. 

This collision happened around 12:30 p.m., WWSB reports. Medics arrived on the scene near the 400 block of Blackburn Point Road Sunday and took the injured woman to Bayfront Health for treatment. There has been no official word on her condition.

Authorities say that two personal watercraft were involved in the incident, each of which had two occupants.


hudson-beach-317555_1920-300x200Three people from Tennessee were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday after their boat capsized in Clearwater about 15 miles off of Florida’s Gulf Coast. 

In a news release, the agency said that they were called at 2:09 p.m. by the boaters from Cookeville, Tennessee who told them their fishing boat was flooding and they needed help right away. 

The Coast Guard sent out a helicopter crew who found the trio wearing life jackets and hanging on to their sunken boat. 

The three men had been in the water for about an hour when they were rescued. They were taken by helicopter to Tampa General Hospital to be evaluated for any injuries. There have been no updates made on their condition. 

The article mentioned that the helicopter co-pilot said the three men did everything right to save themselves. They called for help first, wore their lifejackets, and stayed with their vessel. 

According to the United States Coast Guard, your only priority if you capsize is to survive. This brings up the question of what to do if this happens to you while you are on the water. 

Boats that capsize are a leading contributor to recreational boating deaths and serious injuries. Inclement weather, boater inexperience, and overloading the boat can all lead to a vessel overturning. You can prevent a capsize from happening by practicing good seamanship. You want to make sure you do not overload your vessel, distribute all gear and passengers evenly so the boat has better stability, avoid anchoring from the stern at all times, navigate the vessel at controlled speeds, and stay constantly alert to other boats and waves. The Coast Guard encourages all boat drivers to slow down when encountering a large wave and try to take it head on or at an angle, but never try to power through it. 

In order to safely take a boat out on any body of water, you need to have adequate safety supplies. You will want to have extra life jackets, emergency equipment and signalling devices that you can put into your “ditch bag” on board your vessel. You and all passengers should always be wearing life jackets. It is a great idea to consider purchasing what is called an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), which is a device that can tell rescue crews that you need emergency help and provide them with  your exact location. 

In the event that the boat you are on does capsize, you should make sure all passengers are accounted for and stay with the boat. The Coast Guard does not advise trying to swim for shore. A capsized boat may recover on its own, and it is very unlikely the vessel will sink even if it has overturned or flooded. 

Staying with the boat will help emergency crews find you. The only time you will want to swim away from the boat is if it is heading toward a hazard. Other than that, your boat is the biggest and most visible object in the water, which is why the Coast Guard says you should stay with it. 

According to a 2019 report released by the U.S. Coast Guard, recreational boating accident fatalities decreased by 3.2% from 2018. A total of 613 boating deaths occurred across the U.S. in 2019. The total number of boating accidents actually increased from 4,145 in 2018 to 4,168 in 2019. Of those accidents, 2,559 people suffered non-fatal injuries. 

Alcohol was the leading cause of deadly boating accidents in 2019, accounting for 23% of total fatalities (over 100 deaths.) The other top four contributing factors to recreational boating accidents were excessive speed, operator inattention, operator inexperience, and improper lookout. 

These statistics serve as a reminder that all boaters must behave responsibly on the water. Everyone should wear a life jacket, enroll in a boating safety course, get their boat checked regularly, attach the engine cut-off switch, and never operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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Rescuers pulled nine people from the water following a boat accident near Sarasota on Sunday afternoon.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said two boats collided just south of the Stickney Point Bridge in Sarasota.

Many of the people who went into the water were not wearing life jackets. One of the boats was still drivable, but the other had to be towed away after flipping over and capsizing.

FWC said one person was seriously injured, and three patients in total were taken to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital. In all, nine people were rescued from the water.

The circumstances surrounding the accident are still unclear. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

There are many reasons boat accidents occur. These can include speeding, errors by operators, insufficient training or knowledge of watercraft operation or equipment, defects in boat components or equipment, improper maintenance, and other issues, such as accidents involving intoxicated boat operators.

Boating accident injuries, which often result after a collision, can be wide ranging, with the most serious being wrongful death. Serious injuries like head and brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, broken bones, fractures, and other injuries can be sustained on small boats and large vessels alike. As the waterways become more congested, boating accidents have certainly been on the rise.

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Two people were injured in a boat crash in Tampa on Sunday, according to authorities.

The crash happened in the area of Channel Drive and Cayuga Avenue, near Davis Islands.

Tampa Fire Rescue believe a boat hit a pole and crashed.

Both people on the boat were injured. They were transported to a hospital unknown conditions.

No other details were immediately available.

Florida is a beautiful state that is abundant in rivers, lakes, and waterways. Many residents and visitors alike take advantage of the state’s beauty and enjoy various boating activities like fishing, skiing, tubing, and relaxing on the water. Sadly, accidents can occur while on the water. Personal injuries resulting from a boating accident are handled in a similar fashion to a car accident.

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