A ferry which carries cars, residents and visitors from Watson Island/Miami Beach mainland to the exclusive Fisher Island and back collided with a 30′ boat in dark, early hours Sunday morning. The 30’ pleasure craft sunk as a result of the collision. Tragically, one person died and another sustained serious injuries.
PortMiami was closed for hours, stranding about 16,000 cruise ship passengers on three different boats out at sea. The Miami Herald reports that The U.S. Coast Guard “announced just after 2:30 p.m. on social media that the port was now open after ‘crews have successfully recovered the sunken vessel & removed the obstruction in the North channel.’”
This is the second deadly ferry accident in three years.
Operating a vessel at night can be dangerous
People know that operating a car at night is dangerous. Operating a boat is, too. Perhaps even more dangerous than a car, because:
- There’s a risk of drowning.
- The water is dark and not easy to search without a trained team of rescue divers.
- Headlights and spot lights reflect off the water, so they can’t help you.
- It can take longer for help to arrive.
Hickey Law Firm is currently handling another recreational boating accident (Silagyi v Towriss) where a boat was out in the waters surrounding a port at night, and the boat struck rip rap (piled rocks) that protect the mouth of the Port Everglades channel. We have handled countless claims like these. We know how deadly nighttime boat collisions can be.
Maritime law applies in ferry-related accidents at sea
When ships collide at sea, maritime law almost always applies. It does in this case as well. Maritime law is very different from the laws which govern Florida and other states. Maritime cases are held in Federal Courts. And it is those rulings which govern accidents at sea.
Hickey Law Firm is one of the few law firms in Florida with a double board certified Specialist in Civil Trial Law and Admiralty and Maritime Law. Attorneys John H. (Jack) Hickey has these certifications. He is also board certified in Civil Trial by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA). That means you get the advantage of his experience. He’s also a former attorney for the cruise lines, so you get the advantage of that experience, too.
What should I do if I am injured in a boating accident in Florida?
If you are injured in a boating accident for any reason or at any time of day, the first thing you want to do is seek medical attention. The next thing you want to do is call Hickey Law Firm.
You should also take pictures: of the boat, of the accident scene, and of your injuries. Write down all the names of the people on the boat with you, even if you know all of them. Memories can fade over time. Make sure to write down those names while they’re fresh. Write down anything else you think is important, too, like the condition of the vessel, whether you were given a life jacket, what safety precautions were taken before you left, etc.
Hickey Law Firm specializes in “life changing injuries”®. Call us first. Call us now. 800.215.7117.
Hickey Law Firm handles all manner of maritime cases, from lawsuits against cruise lines to claims from negligence operation of a boat, personal watercraft/Jet Ski, yachts, water skis, and more. We have helped many people who were injured when two vessels collide, or when the vessel they are on hits a fixed object like a jetty or seawall.
If you were harmed in any type of boating accident in Florida, you want Hickey Law Firm. We are big enough to handle your case, and small enough to care about you and your future. Please call or complete our contact form or to schedule a free consultation with the legal team who cares about you. We’re based in Miami but handle maritime and boat accident claims throughout all of Florida.
Attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey and his team handle a wide range of cases, including but not limited to cruise ship accidents, admiralty and maritime accident cases, medical malpractice, wrongful death, premises liability, railroad accidents and car accidents. We represent victims from all over the nation, the world and the state of Florida.