Boating Accident News 1/29/2013

By Kristy Moore posted 01-29-2013 04:06 PM

01-25-13 HONOLULU, HI Crews remove grounded boat off Ala Moana Beach Park (01-26-13) Crews have removed a 36-ft. boat that ran aground off Ala Moana Beach Park Fri. night (01-25). The USCG helped rescue 2 people from the vessel after its engine died. The owner's insurance company hired a salvage firm to remove the wreck, and moved the vessel to Keehi Small Boat Harbor. The mast and rigging lines from the boat are still there and will possibly be removed Sun., depending on weather conditions. Read full story here.

01-26-13 SAN FRANSISCO, CA Tug collides with sailboat in SF Bay, 2 rescued (01-26-13) Two people have been pulled from the frigid San Francisco Bay water after a tugboat escorting a barge collided with their sailboat. USCG Ensign Corrine Gaines says Sat. afternoon's (01-26) collision occurred near the Golden Gate Bridge caused the sailboat to sink. She said the 2 people from the sailboat were taken to the CG station at Sausalito. The crew from the tug and barge was ordered to return to port to be interviewed by CG investigators. There was no report of pollution from the mishap. Read full story here.

01-26-13 STRATFORD, CT Mattress heating pad caused boat fire (01-28-13) Firefighters responded to reports of a boat on fire in Stratford Sat. afternoon (01-26). Just before 2:30 p.m., Stratford Fire Dept. responded to a boat fire at the Dock Shopping Center Marina, located at 955 Ferry Blvd. Upon arrival, firefighters discovered heavy smoke and fire, and requested additional fire resources due to the volume of the fire, its location, and the freezing temperatures. Fire officials said the older 40' catamaran boat was familiar to fire personnel, as it has been utilized as a permanent domicile for its owner for many years and is normally moored in the Housatonic River, across from the town-owned Bond's dock further south. Firefighters were able to successfully extinguish the fire on the ship within 35 minutes. No injuries were reported. After investigating, the cause of the fire was determined to be an unattended mattress heating pad. Read full story here.

01-03-13 NEW ORLEANS, LA Houston-bound sailboat passenger rescued after heart problems (01-04-13) The USCG says it airlifted a man with heart disease from a sailboat in the stormy Gulf of Mexico to shore in Louisiana. The CG said officials were called early Thu. (01-13) about a husband and wife aboard a 64-ft. sailboat bound for Houston from Cozumel, Mexico. The man had a history of heart disease. The woman said he was slumped over and unresponsive. A CG helicopter from Mobile, Ala., hoisted the couple from the sailboat and took them to a CG station near New Orleans, where the man was reported in stable condition. He was taken to a medical clinic. Petty Officer Bill Colclough said the sailboat was left adrift and that the unidentified owner would work with an insurance company on salvage plans. Read full story here.

01-27-13 ST. AUGUSTINE, FL Firefighters put out boat fire (01-28-13) City firefighters rushed to contain a fully involved boat fire that ignited Sun. afternoon (01-27) in the engine compartment of an unoccupied 38-ft. cabin cruiser docked in a local marina. St. Augustine Fire Capt. James Costeira said an electrical short starting in the boat’s engine compartment engulfed the room of origin and spread to a small state room before firefighters extinguished the blaze. “The engine room had a lot of damage, but the interior, except for the small state room, has predominantly smoke damage,” Costeira said. Calls reporting smoke from the vessel came in to the fire dept. just after 11 a.m. It was under control within 15 minutes. A St. Augustine Fire Dept. marine fire boat was dispatched to spread boom netting to capture “sheen of soot” from the fire. The vessel did not have any fuel leaks and took on no seawater as a result of the electrical blaze. Firefighters found evidence of electrical shorts throughout the boat as they disconnected its six batteries. As they examined the scene the boat’s two keys were found in the “off” position with the vessel running. The boat’s owners were at the marina making plans to tow the vessel when SAFD cleared the scene. Read full story here.

01-23-13 WEBER COUNY, UT Boat owner sentenced in swimmer's death (01-23-13) A Utah judge on Wed. (01-23) sentenced a powerboat owner to 2 1/2 years in jail in the death of a swimmer who was cut down by his boat and left to bleed in a reservoir. Second District Judge Ernie Jones said Skyler Shepherd, 22, showed little remorse. Shepherd was convicted in December of reckless endangerment in the 2011 boat strike and failing to render aid to the victim, Esther Fujimoto, 49. Fujimoto's legs were sliced by the boat's propeller, causing "horribly painful" wounds that led to her death, Utah Medical Examiner Todd Grey testified in December. "What you did after this accident was callous, it was reckless and it was absolutely spineless," Jones said Wednesday. Fujimoto was swimming Aug. 21, 2011, at Pineview Reservoir east of Ogden when a witness said she let out a horrifying scream. Shepherd, who was not driving the boat when it struck Fujimoto, told investigators he took the wheel to circle back. He said he believed the woman was uninjured but angry and took off. Defense attorney Glen Neeley argued that his client had no idea what had happened that night and made a youthful mistake. Prosecutors argued the men had to have known they left the women critically injured. Two other men aboard the boat are facing trial together in February. Colton Raines and Robert Cole Boyer are charged with reckless endangerment and failure to render aid. They have pleaded not guilty. Fujimoto was a lab specialist and part of a University of Utah team that helped identify a breast cancer gene. In response to her death, the Utah Legislature made leaving the scene of a boating accident a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Prosecutors were limited to misdemeanor charges for the Pineview Reservoir defendants. Read full story here.

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