When embarking on a fun boating trip, one does not usually anticipate the boat tipping over and being thrown overboard. Three males, age sixty-four, sixty-two, and forty-seven, were recently identified by the Coroner’s Office. They died when their boat overturned on the coast of Santa Catalina Island, in California.
More specifically, the boat tipped over “near Salta Verde Point on the backside of the island.” Seven individuals in total were aboard the boat. The vessel was approximately twenty feet in size. Four individuals were rescued, two of which were seriously hurt. The homicide division of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was charged with the investigation. An eyewitness reported that the waves were treacherous and ranged from four to six feet high at the time of the incident.
Medical assistance and firefighters were notified and on their way to help the victims at approximately half passed nine on a Saturday morning; however, the three men died at the time of the accident. The bodies were extracted from the water by two rescue boats referred to as “Baywatch Isthmus” and “Baywatch Avalon” and an observer came to the rescue of two people that were tossed into the sea. A helicopter crew dispatched by the Coast Guard helped a person who was stuck on the rocks. Another individual was washed up on the beach, but was also rescued. Two of the rescued individuals were in critical condition and transported to emergency care.
What legal recourse do the decedents have? Who was in charge of steering the boat? Was the boat properly registered? Likewise, was the vessel properly equipped with emergency devices and life vests? Was adequate emergency instruction provided to the passengers? Consult an attorney to decipher whether wrongful death actions may be brought on behalf of those who were killed. Remedies are likely to be available to those who were physically injured as well. A licensed attorney can employ an expert to evaluate the evidence and determine whether the boat was in compliance with California’s Operational Law. This is crucial to the discovery process of a lawsuit. Seek the advice of the personal injury attorneys at J&Y who understand boating law in Northern and Southern California today.