Accidents

Safety on the water is important to the marine industry, but accidents happen. Builders, dealers, boatyards and other marine businesses can learn from them.

Captain loses hand and runs afoul of Florida law

It’s one of those stranger-than-fiction stories that could only happen in the Everglades. In addition to having his hand bitten off by an alligator, an airboat tour guide is being criminally investigated. That’s according to The Naples News, which reported last week that several families, including young children, witnessed the incident. Capt. Wallace “Wally” Weatherholt…more

Review panel believes sailboat ran aground

An independent review panel investigating the deaths of four sailors says it believes the 37-foot sailboat Aegean ran aground April 28 on North Coronado Island off the Mexican coast during the Newport (Calif.)-to-Ensenada (Mexico) race. Officials initially believed the boat was struck and destroyed by a larger ship in the middle of the night. That…more

Utah bill calls for stiffer boat-crash penalty

Utah lawmakers are considering a bill making it illegal to leave the scene of a boating accident. The state House Transportation Committee voted unanimously last week to pass HB92 and send it to the full House. It requires people who have “reason to believe” they have been in a boating accident to remain at the…more

California will pay $5.6 million in BUI lawsuit

The California Department of Motor Vehicles will pay $5.6 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over its practice of suspending the driving privileges of people who have been convicted of boating under the influence. The case stems from the 2005 arrest and conviction of a man for boating under the influence on the Colorado River,…more

Arson blamed for boat fire in Texas

Fire department investigators in Austin, Texas, say a Christmas Day boat fire on Lady Bird Lake was deliberately set. Witnesses say they heard a loud explosion and saw smoke and flames rising from a 70-foot boat tied at a dock at about 2 p.m. Sunday near the Hyatt Regency Hotel. While it was on fire,…more

Fire destroys megayachts in Miami

Officials are investigating the cause of a massive fire that broke out at Grove Harbour Marina in Miami, destroying three multimillion-dollar yachts and a 65-foot boat. The blaze started about 6 a.m. Saturday, quickly spreading from one yacht to another, NBC-Miami reported. Though no one was seriously injured, officials say the first boat may have…more

Boating deaths dropped in 2010

The recreational boating segment of the marine industry saw 672 deaths in 2010, compared with 736 in 2009, according to a report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board. A rise was reported in several categories, including motorcycles, medium and heavy trucks, buses, rail and pipeline. The data indicate that overall transportation fatalities decreased to…more

Police eye boatbuilder in drowning death

A western Washington boatbuilder is the target of a criminal investigation into the 2009 drowning death of a Lake Stevens, Wash., woman. Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives are asking prosecutors to file second-degree manslaughter charges against the owner of a boat manufacturing company, The Herald (Everett) newspaper reported. The Herald generally doesn’t name suspects until they…more

Two charged with faking sunken-boat oil spill

The dockmaster and assistant dockmaster at a private marina in Norfolk, Va., were charged with faking an oil spill by throwing beer bottles full of motor oil and grease into a sunken boat they want removed. Bill Pont and Winston Williams, who run the American Legion Post 60 Marina, were charged Wednesday night with illegal…more

Tug pilot gets year in prison for fatal collision

A Philadelphia tug pilot who admitted talking on a cell phone as he steered a barge into a tour boat, killing two foreign students, was sentenced Tuesday to one year and one day in prison for misconduct of a ship operator causing death. Matthew R. Devlin, 35, of Catskill, N.Y., pleaded guilty to the charge…more

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