Jason Jung Noh, 62 of Buena Park, Kyung Hwan Kim, 49, and Young Joon Park, 64, both of Los Angeles, were killed in a boat accident after their vessel capsized on the backside of Catalina Island. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the incident was reported the morning of June 25, 2016 when a 22-foot Bayliner with seven people on board overturned near Salta Verde Point on the back of Catalina Island. Waves in the area were reported at four to six feet.
Those who saw the incident told officials that the Bayliner was coming up the coast on the island’s backside, an area that is exposed to the open ocean, and got caught in breakers. That’s when the boat capsized in the surf in a difficult spot where there were a lot of rocks. The captain of a sportfishing boat that was close by was able to pull two men out of the water. Two others were also rescued, but it was too late for the three victims. The four men who were rescued were transported to area hospitals.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the three men who lost their lives in this tragic boating accident. We offer our deepest sympathies to them.
Boating Accident Statistics
According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways, in 2015, there were 282 boating accidents in Southern California, which resulted in 19 deaths and 121 injuries. These accidents represented 56 percent of all accidents statewide, 52 percent of the injuries and 39 percent of fatalities. Compared with 2014 accident totals, boating accidents in Southern California increased by 1 percent and injuries remained the same, but fatalities skyrocketed by 56 percent.
Preventing Boating Accidents
With summer just starting, this is the first fatal boating accident in the area. Our California boating lawyers represent victims of boating accidents and we are always concerned about preventing these types of tragedies. If you plan to be out in the water this July 4 weekend or during the summer, please be careful. Here are a few tips that we hope will help:
• Alcohol and drugs and boating do not mix. Never operate a boat under the influence.
• Operate your boat at a rate of speed that is safe given the conditions.
• Make sure the boat is properly maintained and is in good shape before taking it out on the water with passengers. Be sure you have enough life jackets for all passengers.
• Never overload your boat. All boats have weight capacities that should be posted near the operator’s position.
• Be aware of what to do in case of an emergency. Make sure your safety equipment is in good working order.
• Watch the weather. Boat safety and communications technology has come a long way. Still, if you get caught out on the water in rough weather and choppy conditions, you could still get in trouble.
• Take a boating safety course. The best way to learn the safest procedures for operating a boat is to take a boating safety course or to take a refresher course if it’s been a while since you last took it.
If you or a loved one has experienced a personal injury, contact an experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney.