Fatal Boating Accident in Panama City, Florida

News outlets have reported that last Sunday afternoon, another tragic boating accident occurred on our Florida waterways. According to various news reports, Brad Martin Bramblett, a 59-year-old man, was ejected from his personal watercraft near the Panama City Marina. After falling overboard, the 17-foot Aquasport then circled around and ran over Bramblett. He sadly died from his injuries.

boat-300x200The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (“FWC” is the agency responsible for the investigation of a boating accident such as this and will conduct a full investigation and render a report issuing their findings. Whether it was due to some type of mechanical failure on the part of the boat, operational error, or even intoxication, remains to be seen. It is yet another example of the dangers of operating a boat on the waterways here in Florida and emphasizes again the critical need to be completely familiar with the operation of the boat, as well as the safety rules and regulations governing safety at sea.


Florida Ranked #1 in Boating Accidents & Fatalities in the United States

Boating is a very popular recreational sport here in South Florida. We have previously published statistics demonstrating that Florida has one of the highest rate of boating accidents and boating related deaths in the country. There are many causes of boating accidents, including operator error, mechanical malfunctions, adverse weather conditions, as well as boating collisions due to negligence of the boating operator. Unfortunately, intoxication often plays a role in boating accidents, just as in car accidents. Driving a boat under the influence is just as dangerous as driving a car.  According to the FWC, out of the 67 fatal boating accidents in Florida last year, 24 percent of them were linked to drug or alcohol use. We continue to see episodic rises in boating accidents during major holidays when drinking is prevalent and the waterways are crowded with boats.

Although Florida has recently created laws requiring boat operators born after a certain year to receive some type of training & license for operating a boat, many of the boat operators out on the waterways are inexperienced and unlicensed.  Even young teenagers are often operating motorboats that travel at high speeds, including personal watercrafts such as jet skis.

What Law Governs Boating Accident Claims?

Our lawyers at Rivkind and Margulies, P.A., specialize in maritime law cases. Maritime law involves claims that have a connection to operating a vessel on the water, or an accident that has something to do with maritime activity.   Whether a case falls within the admiralty jurisdiction of a court and is truly an admiralty matter governed by special maritime laws can often pose a very complicated legal question analysis. Generally a boating accident which arises while operating a boat on the waterways will be governed by maritime laws, including maritime rules of the road.

Maritime Law Also Governs Any Claims Related to Accidents on Cruise Ships

Just as amateur boaters operating recreational boats owe a duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances for the safety of others, a cruise ship company owes a duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances for the safety of their passengers

Boating Accident Attorneys

A case involving an accidental injury on the waterways may be subjected to specialized maritime laws that are unique to the maritime setting and may be governed by laws that are unfamiliar to many personal injury lawyers. If you’ve been involved in any type of maritime accident you should consult an attorney well-versed in maritime law who will know what duties and obligations exist under the maritime laws of the United States and whether you have a claim against a company or individual for your accident. Our experienced boating accident attorneys at Rivkind and Margulies, P.A., have over 35 years of experience representing those injured or harmed on any type of boat traveling in or outside of the United States waterways. If you or a loved one has been injured or harmed in any type of accident on the water, contact us for a free consultation.

Source: Man hit by own boat dies in FL