As a Broward County boating accident attorney, I was disappointed to see an article about a serious crash between two boats in Biscayne Bay. The Miami Herald reported Nov. 29 on the crash, which took place that day just after 1 p.m. Witnesses told the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission that both 30-foot-plus vessels were speeding, although it wasn’t clear how they came to collide. As a result of the crash, however, one man was airlifted to a trauma center and two others died at the scene. One of those who died was Steven Posner, a wealthy real estate investor whose family has been in the news for its battles over inheritance of large estates. Another victim was Posner’s cousin Stuart Posner, who was injured.
The initial crash threw at least some of the people on board the boats into the water east of Matheson Hammock Marina. Nearby boats saw the collision and called for help. A Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue boat responded. Rescue crews used the boat as a staging ground for the critically injured victim, who had to be lifted in a basket into the helicopter, which took him to the Ryder Trauma Center. Another victim suffered minor injuries and was taken by land to another hospital. The spokesman for the FWCC described the crash as “horrific.” He said it wasn’t clear whether all of the seriously injured people came from the same boat, but did say that all of the people aboard both boats had been accounted for. He also said autopsies would be performed.
Even without the business celebrity aspect, this story would have caught my eye as a Hialeah boat accident lawyer because it’s highly likely that some negligence was involved. In fact, if witnesses are correct that both boaters were speeding, both parties may be partly to blame for the crash. Many people in Florida don’t see boating as an activity requiring safety precautions, but it absolutely is. Just like cars, boats are (usually) motor vehicles capable of speeds fast enough to reduce reaction times to an unsafe level. And unlike cars, boats don’t usually have designated lanes or lane markings, meaning they can be less predictable and wander out of their intended paths more easily. That’s why the FWCC pushes boating safety so hard -- including warnings against speeding as well as warnings about boating under the influence and the importance of life vests.