Maryland Boating Accident Lawyers: Trouble on the Water

In May, an outing on a 32-foot pleasure boat turned serious when an explosion occurred before the craft had exited a marina in Edgewater, Maryland. After refueling at the marina, the boat stalled. When the captain restarted the engine, an explosion and fire occurred that ultimately sent the six children aboard to the hospital with burns.

Serious accidents happen every day on the road and on the water. According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, there were 148 reportable boat accidents in 2012, causing 94 injuries and 11 fatalities. Across the board, accidents, injury and death from boating accidents declined last year from 2011.

In the May accident at Edgewater, the cause of the engine explosion was not clear. After the explosion, an adult on the craft tossed children and life vests into the water to help passengers escape the fire. Witnesses speculated vapors produced by the fueling process may have ignited when the captain attempted to restart the stalled engine. The children, possibly seated on the engine cover, took the brunt of the explosion and did not appear to be wearing the life vests required by Maryland law when a craft is underway.

While the cause of this accident may have been mechanical, the top causes of Maryland boating accidents in 2012 were:

  • Excessive speed
  • Wakes
  • Operator error
  • Passenger / skier error
  • No proper lookout

Boating is fun but dangerous. Accidents happen. If you are heading out for a day on the water, stay safe and follow the rules. If you are injured when someone else does not follow the rules, speak with the experienced Maryland boating accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A..