Special Risks Associated With Jet Skis & Personal Watercraft
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.