Scanning the coastlines off Panama City Beach, one can see people enjoying
a wide-range of recreational activities. For many, riding a jet ski or
other personal watercraft is the ideal way to enjoy a day on the water.
While these vessels can be great fun, Jet Ski accidents are a very real
danger that can leave riders or bystanders injured or even killed.
Having practiced in The Sunshine State throughout his nearly forty year
legal career, Attorney Pittman is ready and able to serve as a Northwest
Florida Jet Ski accident attorney following a watercraft accident. We
work to help the wrongfully injured recover monetary damages from the
person at-fault, whether that is a careless rider, a negligent boater,
or anyone else (ex. a manufacturer, a negligent rental company, etc.)
who created a dangerous situation on the water.
Gulf Coast Jet Ski Accident Claims Life of Tourist from Little Rock
A Florida vacation ended in tragedy for one Arkansas man in an accident
detailed on WJHG's webpage. The 25-year-old from Little Rock was vacationing
in Panama City Beach. On Thursday, he and his companions decided to rent
jet skis and ride in the Grand Lagoon near St. Andrews Park. They had
been riding in a line when, around 2:15 PM, witnesses noticed the man
heading towards "Live Bait," a bait delivery boat. Per the boat's
captain, both swerved but the evasive behavior came too late and they
met in a collision that was nearly head-on and knocked both the tourist
and the boat's passenger into the water.
After pulling both men out of the water and onto his ship, the captain
headed towards the boat ramp. Multiple people, including his father-in-law,
attempted CPR on the Jet Ski rider without success. He was taken to Bay
Medical Sacred Heart; doctors declared him dead on arrival. An investigation,
which will include an autopsy and an inspection of the boat and the Jet
Ski, is on-going. The deceased left behind a wife and 5-month-old baby.
Quick Look at Accident Statistics
For 2013, personal watercraft ("PWC") ranked second only to open
motorboats in terms of the number of accidents associated with a recreational
boating craft in 2013. This spring, the United States Coast Guard released
2013 Recreational Boating Statistics. Over the course of the year, 13
PWC riders drowned, 23 lost their lives by another means, and 610 riders
were hurt in PWC accidents. Notably, the report does not provide data
reflecting harm to people other than the rider in the case of PWC accidents.
A Reminder About the Power and the Danger of Personal Watercraft
As a law firm representing both riders injured by other's negligence
and those hurt by negligent riders, we believe people must that personal
watercraft are fun, but also potentially dangerous. An article on Jet
Ski safety in Rifle and Rod Magazine observes, the "capabilities
and limitations [of a jet ski] are different from a boat's, even one
of similar size."
Only a firm with an appreciation for these unique characteristics can fully
represent those impacted by a Jet Ski accident. The Pittman Firm, P.A.
understands these unique watercraft and we welcome anyone injured or anyone
who lost a loved one in a Jet Ski incident to call to arrange a free consultation.