Drinking and driving is a serious offense with possibly fatal consequences. And although many people don’t realize it, drinking and boating is just as serious. Recently, drinking and boating has been the cause of some devastating accidents. It’s always been a problem. However, the recent boating accidents prompted the US to crack down on drinking and boating. Find out what happened in the accidents that changed the way we look at boating under the influence.
The Four Most Famous Boating Accidents
In the past few years, many famous boating accidents made headlines. All of them had serious implications for those involved and their family members. Some of the accidents resulted in permanent injury. Meanwhile, others resulted in death. They all served as a reminder that boating under the influence is dangerous. However, these four accidents stood out above the rest.
1. Jose Fernandez boating under the influence
The famous Marlin’s baseball player met an untimely death at the young age of 24. Jose Fernandez‘s death came as a surprise to many. However, the way that he died was not uncommon.
Fernandez went on a boat in Florida with two of his friends and died while on the water. In the state of Florida, boating accidents occur frequently. In 2015, Florida had 671 boating accidents. Some of those accidents were fatal. Many of them involved alcohol.
In the case of Fernandez, drugs and alcohol contributed to the accident. After Fernandez died, the toxicology reports showed that he had cocaine in his system. Prior to getting onto the boat, he drank tequila. One nightclub admitted that he ordered two bottles of tequila.
With the dangerous combination of drugs and alcohol in his system, Fernandez drove his boat over the speed limit. This led to an accident which resulted in the death of Fernandez and two of his friends.
2. DJ Laz and the death of a security guard
Lazaro Mendez, also known as DJ Laz, was most well known for his radio personality. However, one of the most devastating boating accidents of 2014 made him even more well-known. When DJ Laz had his boat off Nixon Beach on Key Biscayne, the boat got stuck on a sandbar. At 42 feet long, the boat needed a lot of human resources to get it out of trouble. People got off the boat and started to push it off the sandbar. However, the endeavor was not successful. One of those individuals, Ernesto Hernandez, had a run-in with the propellers of the boat. Hernandez died from his injuries.
There was alcohol present on the boat. However, prosecutors did not file boating under the influence charges. After examining the case, they decided not to follow through with charges against Mendez. It’s impossible to say if alcohol was to blame for this accident. Although there was not enough evidence to charge Mendez, alcohol could have been a part of this accident.
3. Multiple boat crash
Boating accidents don’t only involve one boat. In Biscayne Bay, Florida, a major accident resulted in a three-boat crash. As a result of the crash, four people died, and 12 went to local hospitals. Seven of the 12 had injuries.
The accident occurred after a fireworks display. First, a 32-foot boat crashed into a 36-foot boat. Then, that boat started to spin out of control. It hit another boat, which sent people into the water. Three of the individuals who fell into the water died, all of whom were in their 20s. In the accident, Andrew Garcia, Victoria Dempsey, and Kelsie Karpiak lost their lives. Still onboard the boat, Catherine Payan and Samantha Roth had critical injuries.
Although one of the boats had eight people on-board, only one of those individuals had a minor injury. However, the boat that was originally hit in the accident had one death. 23-year-old Jason Soleimani died, and his girlfriend had a concussion.
It is possible that alcohol did not contribute to this crash. However, it could have been a contributing factor. Other factors include high traffic and a lack of organization. In the past, the same firework display has had chaos. With many boats out to view the show, boaters often have a hard time getting home safely.
4. Speedboat crash that injures ten people
In Indiana, one of the most devastating boating accidents had serious consequences. At only 20 years old, Dominique Effinger drove her boat at an unsafe speed when she made a sharp turn. As she made the turn, the boat spun out of control at about 30 miles per hour. During the turn, ten people from the boat ended up in the water. The uncontrolled boat caused further injuries to those individuals.
The incident occurred on Lake Gage. In the accident, one person needed a lower arm amputation, and another had a skull fracture. Although less serious than the injuries, there was some property damage on the lake. Effinger was drunk at the time of the accident and police arrested her for boating while intoxicated.