Sunday, October 23, 2011

Girl critically injured in boating accident

TAMPA, Fla. - An 11-year-old girl is in critical condition after a boating accident in North Tampa. Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say the girl was tubing when she was struck by a propeller while climbing onto a boat on Lake Taray. The accident happened behind her home in the Avila community. She was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital. Her name has not been released. The FWC is investigating the accident. Read more:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Boating Accident Victim in Downtown Jacksonville was Fishing, Still Critical

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The man who was critically injured in a boating accident on the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville was fishing. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), 66-year-old Jacksonville resident Rodney M. Abernethy was anchored east of the center span of the north side of the Fuller Warren Bridge at 5 p.m. Monday in a 17-foot boat. The FWC said the tide at that time was outgoing and very strong, and that the anchor line fouled the propeller. That in turn caused the stern of the boat to face the outgoing tide, which allowed water to pour in, sinking the boat. Abernethy was caught in the current.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Boy struck by propeller / Jacksonville Beach

A 6-year-old boy who apparently fell under a boat and was struck by its propeller at the Jacksonville Beach city boat ramp was hospitalized this evening with back lacerations, authorities said. The juvenile, whose name was not immediately available, is not thought to have life-threatening injuries, said Sgt. Tom Bingham of the Jacksonville Beach Police Department. Read more at

Thursday, July 14, 2011

NTSB Rips Coast Guard over Boy's Boating Accident Death

The National Transportation Safety Board has called out the U.S. Coast Guard for lax oversight leading up to the 2009 San Diego patrol boat crash that killed 8-year-old Anthony DeWeese. The federal board concluded that the Coast Guard boat pilot was going far too fast — as fast as 42 knots — for the crowded conditions on San Diego Bay that night, and no one was holding him in check. The NTSB discussed its findings at a meeting Tuesday morning in Washington, D.C. A summary written report was released later in the day, and the full report will be published in coming weeks, officials said.

Monday, July 11, 2011

128 feared dead in Russian river boat accident / children lost

"Practically no children made it out. There were many children on the boat, very many," survivor Natalya Makarova said on state television. She said she had lost her grip on her daughter as they struggled to escape. "We were all buried alive in the boat like in a metal coffin," Makarova said, who escaped through a window. "I practically crawled up from the bottom. My 10-year-old child was with me, I held onto her as long as possible ... I couldn't hold on." Sania Zakirova waited on the shore at Syukeyevo for news of her missing grandson and pregnant daughter-in-law.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Boat Operator Reckless in accident that Killed two Middleburg students

The boat operator involved in a Presidents Day accident that ended with the deaths of two Middleburg High School students, including his son, has been cited with reckless operation. Ted Hanner, 49, was operating the 1985 Baja bass boat on Black Creek near the Knight's Boat Ramp and Marina facility when he left the controls to pump the fuel bulb, a piece of equipment that helps get fuel to the motor, said Karen Parker, a spokeswoman from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. She said the boat was running kind of ragged and Hanner was trying to get more fuel to the motor. The boat veered to the north bank and crashed into a tree 3 feet off the water, according to commission at the time. Hanner's son, Travis Hanner, 17, and the teen's girlfriend Halee Mickey, 15, were sitting in the bow of the 18-foot, 4-inch boat at the time. The teens died at the scene from severe blunt force trauma, the commission reported at the time. Ted Hanner was treated at Shands Jacksonville hospital and later released. Alcohol was not a factor, and the boat was traveling about 20 mph, Parker said. Reckless operation of a boat is a first-degree misdemeanor. Read more at

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Man critically injured in Boating Accident

Law enforcement agencies in north Palm Beach County are searching for a man whom police say was operating a 23-foot boat on the Intracoastal Waterway Saturday night, when it collided with an illuminated channel marker. The impact caused severe head injuries for one of the passengers on board. Kai Woodstock, 26, of Jupiter, who was flown by helicopter to St. Mary's Medical Center after the accident, which occurred around 9:46 p.m., according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Investigators say the boat operator fled the crash scene and had not been located nearly 24 hours later. According to Jupiter police, the boat's operator, 21-year-old Timothy Doran, also of Jupiter, took off on foot after the accident and was still wanted for questioning early Monday. Alcohol was believed to be a factor in the accident, police said.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

SEARCH FOR SANDY POINT CREW MEMBERS CONTINUES Three men missing after collision in Gulf

GULFPORT -- Divers will continue their search today for three missing crew members of an Omega Protein pogy boat that sank in the Gulfport shipping channel after a collision with a ship carrying bananas to Texas.A team of four divers from the state Department of Marine Resources and one from the Biloxi Police Department spent several hours Thursday in the dark, murky waters where the Sandy Point rested 25 feet below the surface, U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Timothy Williams said. DMR Chief Walter Chataginer said the three could have been trapped inside the boat in air pockets that could keep them alive.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Palm Valley Boat Accident

PALM VALLEY -- A 65-year-old woman was hospitalized after a boat she was riding in slammed into a dock along the Intracoastal Waterway on Saturday, practically two years to the day after a deadly boat wreck killed five people in the same area. Jo Ann P. Valenti of Ponte Vedra Beach sustained head injuries after a 1999 Vessel powerboat smashed into a dock about 2:45 p.m. behind a vacant house at 75 S. Roscoe Blvd., the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said. Read more at

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Texas law firm sued for allegedly filing incorrect Jones Act lawsuit

A Mexican national is filing a lawsuit against a Texas law firm for improperly filing a lawsuit against his employer causing his workers' compensation benefits to be terminated. Juan Puga filed suit against The Hastings Law Firm and Tommy R. Hastings on March 3 in federal court in New Orleans. According to the complaint, on Sept. 24, 2008, Puga was employed by Fluid Crane and Construction Inc. as a pipe welder when he was injured off the coast of Louisianan while being transferred from a vessel in a personnel basket. The lawsuit claims that Puga was solicited by the Hastings Law Firm within one week of the accident, while he was still in a Louisiana hospital. When he signed an attorney-client contract, he was receiving compensation benefits from Fluid Crane's carrier in excess of $1,000 per week, plus all medical expenses. The Hastings Law Firm filed a Jones Act lawsuit against Fluid Crane in Brazoria County District Court. The Hastings Law Firm argued that Puga was a Jones Act seaman and as a result, Fluid Crane terminated the compensation benefits and began paying him maintenance at $15 per day. Puga states his employer had no exposure to liability as a result of being his employer and his non-seaman status. He states he attempted to contact the law firm about the loss of his benefits but was unable to receive a reply. He terminated their representation in December 2008.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Man's Foot Severed by Boat

NAPLES — Two days after a boat propeller severed his left foot, a 69-year-old Bonita Springs swimmer remains in fair condition at Lee Memorial Hospital, according to Pat Dolce, a hospital spokeswoman. Rosario ‘Sal’ Pucciarelli was swimming within a marked swimming area near the shoreline of the Ritz Carlton Hotel at Vanderbilt Beach on Saturday when he was struck by a boat, according to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report. Brandon Ruganis was traveling east toward the shoreline in a 22-foot Pathfinder fishing boat when the boat struck Pucciarelli, according to the report.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Uncle: Gardens girl hit by boat propeller lost part of left leg

Doctors were unable to save the leg of a 14-year-old girl struck by a boat propeller on Saturday. Gabby DeSouza's leg was amputated below the knee Tuesday, according to news partner WPTV-Ch. 5. The Palm Beach Gardens High School student was airlifted to St. Mary's Medical Center after the accident, and has remained in critical condition since. The teenager and friends were in the water south of the Juno Pier when a boat approached carrying other friends. As she was trying to climb onboard, the driver revved the engine in an apparent attempt to keep the boat from getting beached, according to an eyewitness. The boat hit three of the girls, knocking them down, and the propeller struck DeSouza's leg.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Seaman seeks $5M for wrongful termination after head injury

GALVESTON - Claiming he was wrongfully terminated after receiving a head injury on the job, a Galveston County seaman is seeking $5 million from his former employer. James Gowdy filed a Jones Act suit against Kinder Morgan Inc. on Jan. 13 in Galveston County District Court. He alleges he was injured on March 24 while working aboard the M/V Audrey. According to the original petition, Gowdy and a co-worker were tightening a mechanical wench when the co-worker lost control of a stainless steel teeter bar. The bar then shot across the deck and struck Gowdy in the head, the lawsuit states. Gowdy claims he recalls nothing after the incident until he woke up five hours later in a Sulphur, La., hospital, the suit says. The suit states that Gowdy sustained contusions and abrasions as well as injuries to his neck, legs and other parts of his body. He says he was unable to maintain his balance after the injury and unable to return to work. Gowdy claims his employment was then terminated. He consequently seeks a jury trial along with the $5 million in damages. The Buzbee Law Firm is representing the plaintiff, and Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox is presiding over the case.