While boating accidents may not be as common as auto accidents in Ohio, this by no means indicates they are not occurring, particularly in light of the water ways of The Great Lakes becoming more congested. Often, boating accidents are the result of negligence of the operator.
In a 2010 boating accident that is now going through the litigation of a wrongful death trial in the wake of two Hungarian tourist that were killed in the crash, liability is yet unclear. The accident occurred in Pennsylvania when an unmanned barge crashed into a duck boat filled with tourists. Each company blames the other for the accident.
Reportedly, the site of the crash is over 2,000 feet wide and the barge should have been able to get around. The operator of the barge reportedly was on the phone dealing with some sort of family emergency when the collision occurred. He has been sentenced to one year in jail for the maritime equivalent of involuntary manslaughter.
However, the family states that it is ineffective and unclear safety policies on the part of the touring company that are to blame. The touring company states that none of their actions, or the crew's actions, caused either of the victims' death.
Reportedly, one of the victim's, a 16-year-old girl, used her last few seconds to throw someone in the water her life jacket. She may have sacrificed her life to save that of another's. The girl's father reports that he is not surprised his daughter made such a valiant effort.
These families have endured a great tragedy and deserve justice. When liability is determined, these families could be entitled to compensation for their losses.
Source: abc 13, "Video of crash opens wrongful-death duck boat case," Joann Loviglio, May 7, 2012