The next time someone asks you out on a boating trip consider this, ten people who had been at a party last night took a boat into the James River from Newport News between 11;00 and 11:30 pm. The late-night booze cruise only lasted 30 minutes before the boat capsized, reported the Virginian-Pilot.
Five of the boaters had to tread water for several hours in the dark and made it to shore in the Aberdeen Farms area of Smithfield where they called for help, according to officials.
Meanwhile, the boat was later hit by the tugboat Robert Byrd. It was then that Coast Guard officials received a report from the tugboat crew about the collision, said Lt. Mike Patterson. The sailboat was reportedly adrift in the vicinity of the James River Reserve Fleet, or "Ghost Fleet," when the collision happened.
The nine people who were rescued were taken to Riverside Regional Medical Center for treatment. One of the them later died. Another boater remainsl missing. As far as marine police can tell, no life preservers were on board.
The summer isn't even officially here and already the Tidewater Virginia (VA), area has had several boating accidents. It doesn't make sense for anyone to take passengers out without life vests, especially late at night after a party. That behavior is inviting a tragic accident to occur. There is no word yet if the captain of the boat was boating while intoxicated (BWI).
This was a terrible accident and I really hope the missing boater is found alive and safe. As a personal injury lawyer who has dealt with boating accidents in Hampton Roads and Northeastern North Carolina (NC), I know that boating accidents are often extremely dangerous due to the added risk of drowning. Also, consuming alcoholic beverages while boating is often viewed as recreationally acceptable despite the dangers involved. If you are involved in a boating accident that results in serious injury, you should consider contacting a personal injury lawyer about whether you have a claim against the insurance company for the boater who was at fault in causing your injury. Our firm welcomes free consultation on any maritime case.