Fatal Boat Collision on San Francisco Bay

Deadly Boat Accident Near Angel Island 

A deadly boat collision involving two pleasure craft was reported near Angel Island on the San Francisco Bay on June 30. The accident was reported by a spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard when a 25-foot Center Console motor boat and sailboat crashed together, causing the pleasure craft to start spinning from the impact. The report of the collision was received by the Coast Guard around 2:09 p.m. 

Center Console Operator Dies After Being Ejected From Vessel

According to the incident report, the operator of the Center Console was ejected. Although eyewitnesses to the crash administered first aid, that individual died. The Medical Examiner’s Office in San Francisco later identified the deceased man as Michael Wells, a Contra Costa County resident, age 65. 

No Additional Injuries Reported

Four people were on the sailboat at the time the accident happened and were uninjured. The deadly collision is being investigated by the Marin County Sheriff’s Department and the San Francisco Police Department to determine fault and how the accident happened. It was not reported whether the man who died was wearing a lifejacket at the time the incident occurred.

Causes of a Boat Collision Between Two Vessels

There are a number of reasons a boat collision can occur between two vessels, however, most accidents happen due to operator negligence or not knowing navigation rules. Operator negligence causes include:

  • Inattention
  • Improper lookout
  • Lack of experience
  • Mechanical failure
  • Drinking or under the influence of drugs while operating the vessel
  • Violation of navigation rules

Reporting a Boat Collision

All boating accidents in the state that result in injuries or are due to a fatal boat collision have to be reported to the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) in Sacramento. The cause of the accident is investigated by the police with jurisdiction in the area. However, because there can be jurisdictional differences such as whether the accident falls under maritime or state law, enlisting the assistance of a boat accident lawyer can be a good idea.

It is always advisable to take legal action immediately following a boating accident. This is the best time to obtain evidence, speak to other witnesses and gather the information needed to support the injured party’s or family’s claim.

Compensation in a Personal Injury Claim

The injured party may recover the following compensation:

  • All medical expenses that arose as a result of the boat collision
  • Wages if the injured party was unable to work 
  • Pain and suffering, including psychological and emotional trauma

Compensation Recovery in a Wrongful Death Claim

By filing a wrongful death claim, the family may recover:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Wages until the decedent’s retirement age plus benefits
  • The spouse may recover loss of consortium and companionship
  • Family children may recover loss of nurture and guidance

California Boat Accident Lawyers

My name is Ed Smith, and I am a California boat accident lawyer. If you lost a loved one or were injured in a boating accident, you might be able to recover compensation by filing either a wrongful death lawsuit or a personal injury claim. Contact us at (916) 921-6400 or at (800) 404-5400 for our compassionate, friendly and free advice. We can arrange a free consultation to review your case, answer questions and discuss possible options to recover damages. If you prefer, we can be contacted online.

We are proud members of the Top 1 Percent and the Million Dollar Advocates.

Our injury lawyers have helped many Northern Californians in obtaining the compensation they deserve, as you can see below:

Photo attribution: Image by blende12 from Pixabay

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