One man has died and another is missing after a boat capsized, leaving 10 people in James River, the Daily Press reported. Nine of the 10 people who were on the 22-foot sailboat were graduate students or interns on a study program at NASA Langley Research Center.
John Bull of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission said the vessel became unbalanced and capsized near the mouth of the Pagan River. Bull said the boat was equipped with flotation devices and life vests but they were not being used. He said investigators will be asking questions about the number of people on such a small boat.
See this video of the incident.
Our experienced Virginia (VA) personal injury attorneys have reported on a long catalogue of boating accidents in a part of the state where many people take to the water.
Southeastern Virginia (VA) has many rivers, coves, bays and inlets that offer fantastic recreational opportunities including, the Chesapeake Bay, the James River, the Lynnhaven River and Hampton Roads itself. Sadly, not everyone stops to think about the dangers of boating. There are numerous boating accidents that result in injury or even death and these incidents tend to spike during the summer.
In too many cases a fun day out can turn quickly to tragedy. In 2009 our attorneys reported on how a family and their friends were out on a 20-foot Bayliner boat in Hampton, Virginia (VA) when a tragedy occurred. A 7-year-old boy was allowed to take control of the boat and he turned it into a pier on the Hampton River. His mother was killed by the impact.
Terrible accidents like this serve as a reminder of the importance of basic safety on the water. Recreational boaters should be familiar with many safety requirements, including the use of life vests and when to yield the right of way to a passing boat.
Boating accidents can also lead to wrongful death lawsuits. Last year we reported on how the family of a naval officer killed after his boat was hit by a barge in the James River secured a $1.25 million wrongful death verdict.
It's too early to apportion blame in this latest tragedy on the James River, but it's clear something went badly wrong.