Eight people suffered injuries in a boating accident after a powerboat exploded in Huntington Harbour, the morning of November 26, 2011. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the incident occurred on a boat that was headed to Long Beach. Officials say nine people, ranging in age from teens to 50, were on the 26-foot powerboat. The boat was two to three minutes away from the harbor’s main public launching ramp when the driver noticed gasoline leaking and told passengers that they should turn back. That was when the engine began sputtering and exploded. The impact from the explosion caused passengers to be thrown into the ocean. Passengers suffered a variety of injuries including broken bones, scrapes and bruises and were transported to area medical centers. Officials are looking into the cause of the explosion.
My heart goes out to the injured victims of this boat explosion. I truly hope none of the victims suffered major or life-threatening injuries. I wish them all the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Boating Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2010 statistics, there were 4,604 recreational boating accidents in the United States that resulted in 672 deaths, 3,153 injuries and $35.5 million in property damage. The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (46 percent), personal watercraft (20 percent), and cabin motorboats (14 percent). During the same year, 59 boating accidents were caused by ignition of spilled fuel or vapor, which resulted in one death and 38 injuries.
What Caused the Explosion?
Based on this news report, it appears that a gasoline leak led to the explosion. However, it is not clear why the gasoline leak occurred in the first place. Did this incident involve some type of defective product such as a faulty part? Was the boat properly maintained? Was the powerboat privately owned or did it belong to a recreational boating company? Did the boating company’s negligence or failure to fix a problem on the vessel cause this explosion? I trust investigators are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.
Victims’ Claim for Compensation
If the boating company is determined to have been negligent, then, they can be held liable for the victims’ injuries. In such cases, injured victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Huntington Beach personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.