(800) 561-4887

No Fee If We Don't Win

One Killed, 10 Injured in Long Beach Pleasure Boat Crash

Long Beach boat crash

John Correa, 59, of Long Beach, was killed, and 10 other people were injured in a boating accident in Long Beach on the night of July 3. 

According to a Fox 11 news report, Correa and 10 others were on board a 48-foot power boat found underwater. Long Beach Fire Department officials said speed was likely a factor in the fatal boat crash.

Horrific Boat Crash

The cell phone video that Fox 11 exclusively obtained shows the aftermath of the crash at the Alamitos Bay Jetty. The Long Beach Fire Department received a call reporting that the boat had crashed into the rocks and was sinking. 

One witness said the impact seemed severe. Fox 11 reports that cell phone video showed passengers on the boat being pulled from the wreckage even as the boat continued to sink.

Others were sitting on the rocks, bleeding, while the music on the boat continued to play. Investigators said there were 11 people aboard, including Correa. Ten people were hospitalized, including three in critical condition.

Another witness said he saw “a lot of blood all over the rocks,” calling the crash “senseless.” The Long Beach Police Department and the U.S. Coast Guard are investigating this fatal boating accident. They are considering speed as a factor.

We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of John Correa for their tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the injured victims. We wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

How Common Are Boating Accidents?

Boating accidents in California present a significant concern, given the state’s extensive waterways and the immense popularity of recreational boating.

According to the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW), the state consistently sees a notable number of boating accidents each year.

In recent years, an average of 500 to 600 boating accidents have been reported annually. These accidents result in approximately 50 to 60 fatalities and several hundred injuries each year.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2022, 4,040 recreational boating accidents nationwide involved 636 deaths, 2,222 injuries, and about 63 million dollars of property damage. 

The fatality rate was 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels, a 1.8% decrease from the 2021 fatality rate of 5.5 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.

Common Causes of Boating Accidents

Human error, environmental factors, and equipment failure are California’s main causes of boating accidents. Key causes include:

Excessive speed: Operating a boat at high speeds reduces reaction time and increases the severity of accidents. Speeding is particularly dangerous in congested areas or nearshore waters.

Alcohol use: Alcohol impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction times. According to the Coast Guard, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents nationwide. Where the primary cause was known, it was listed as the leading factor in 16% of deaths.

Operator inattention: This is also a leading cause of boat operator distraction or unawareness of their surroundings, leading to collisions or other accidents. This might also include the failure to keep a proper lookout for other boats, swimmers, or hazards in the water, which can result in accidents.

Operator inexperience: Inexperienced boaters may lack the necessary skills to navigate safely, especially in challenging conditions or busy waterways. 

Lack of boat safety training contributes significantly to accidents, as untrained or inexperienced operators may be unaware of essential safety protocols, navigational rules, and emergency procedures. 

Proper training equips boaters with the knowledge and skills to handle their vessels safely, reducing the risk of accidents and enhancing overall safety on the water.

Weather conditions: Sudden changes in weather, such as high winds, heavy rain, or fog, can create hazardous conditions that even experienced boaters find difficult to manage.

Machinery Failure: Mechanical issues, such as engine failure or steering problems, can lead to loss of control and accidents. Regular maintenance is crucial to preventing such incidents. Defective boat parts can also cause catastrophic mechanical failure.

What Factors Affect Liability in Boating Accident Cases?

Liability in boating accident cases often hinges on determining negligence or fault among the parties involved. Here are some of the factors that could affect who is held liable in your boating accident case:

Operator negligence: If a boat operator fails to exercise reasonable care, they can be liable for accidents. This includes reckless behavior, such as speeding, operating under the influence of alcohol, or failing to maintain a proper lookout.

Owner liability: Boat owners can be liable if they negligently entrust their vessel to an inexperienced or unfit operator. Failure to maintain the boat in safe working condition can also result in liability.

Manufacturers and maintenance providers: If a boating accident results from a boat or equipment defect, the manufacturer or maintenance provider could be held liable. This includes mechanical failures due to poor design, manufacturing defects, or inadequate maintenance.

Compliance with boating laws: Violating boating laws and regulations, such as not having proper safety equipment or exceeding speed limits, can establish negligence and liability.

Insurance considerations: Many boaters carry liability insurance, which can cover damages in the event of an accident. Insurance companies may also determine liability and compensation.

Steps to Take If You Have Been Injured in a Boating Accident

If you have been injured in a boating accident, it is important to prioritize your immediate safety and seek medical attention. Ensure everyone is accounted for and call emergency services if needed. 

Document the accident scene by taking photos and noting weather conditions, boat positions, and any visible damage. Exchange contact and insurance information with other involved parties and gather witness statements if possible.

Report the accident to the appropriate authorities, such as the U.S. Coast Guard or local marine patrol, especially if there are significant injuries or property damage.

Preserve all medical records and expenses related to your injuries. Contact an experienced California boating accident lawyer who has handled similar cases to understand your legal rights and potential monetary compensation. 

Avoid making statements that could be construed as admitting fault. Following these steps can help protect your health, rights, and ability to pursue legal action.


FREE Case Evalution

Our staff will evaluate your case submission and respond in a timely manner.

California Personal Injury Blog