One Survivor Rescued in Suspected “Human Smuggling Venture”
According to multiple reports, a boat believed to be carrying 40 people capsized late January in severe weather off the coast of Florida. A good samaritan rescued a sole known survivor nearly 45 miles off Fort Pierce Inlet. Dozens remain missing and are feared dead.
At Mase Mebane Seitz, we represent individuals who have been injured or killed in maritime accidents. Florida’s coastal waters can turn deadly in turbulent weather or at the hands of an inexperienced boat operator. If you or a loved one is involved in a boating accident, contact our office at (844) 627-3529 for a free consultation.
Deadly Boating Accident Off Florida Coast
As reported by Fox 8 News, a boat believed to be used in a “human smuggling venture” capsized in turbulent waters off the coast of Florida. A total of 39 people went missing in the dark waters. A single known survivor was rescued by a good samaritan who notified the Coast Guard of the disaster.
The boat is believed to have been coming from the Bahamian island of Bimini. During the trip, severe weather conditions are thought to have caused the vessel to capsize. According to the survivor of the 40 people on the boat, no one was wearing a life jacket.
5 Bodies Pulled from the Water
Within days, NBC 6 reported that the death toll had reached five. Though dozens remained missing, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that the active search would be suspended, with no additional survivors expected to be found.
The Miami office of Homeland Security launched a criminal investigation into the accident. Smugglers can be held criminally liable for the injury or death of a person.
The Sole Survivor
The sole survivor in the boating accident informed rescuers that the boat had capsized not long after leaving the Bahamas. High winds and heavy rain dominated the area over the following days.
The U.S. Coast Guard’s search was exhaustive, including air and surface.. Rescue crews searched through the night, attempting to find survivors. At the time of this posting there had been no updates regarding the thirty-four individuals who were aboard the 25’ vessel when it capsized.
Civil Litigation in Boating Accidents
In addition to criminal charges, negligent operators may face civil litigation for their wrongdoing. Depending on the circumstances, a person or company may be held liable for the wrongful death of an individual.
If you were seriously injured or lost a loved one in a boating accident, you might be able to pursue a claim for damages. It is essential to consult with an experienced attorney to discuss your legal options. Many boating accidents are preventable, caused by negligence or inexperience. Boat operators or their employers may also be held responsible for intentional conduct that results in harm to passengers.
Involved in a Boating Accident? Contact Our Office Today.
If you were harmed or lost a loved one in a boating accident, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. Our knowledgeable legal team can help determine if you should pursue a lawsuit against a liable person or company.
Call our office at (844) 627-3529 to speak to an experienced attorney at no charge. All consultations are confidential and without obligation to retain our services.