Professional Soccer Player Killed in Boating Accident off Miami

A tragic boating accident in the waters off Miami killed professional soccer player Anton Walkes of Charlotte FC of Major League Soccer on January 18th. The boat Walkes was driving collided with another boat near the Miami Marine Stadium basin around 3:00 p.m. Walkes was found unconscious by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel responding to the scene of the collision between the two boats. The EMTs attempted to revive him but were unsuccessful, and he died shortly after being taken to the hospital in critical condition. This tragic boating accident comes six years after Miami Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a September 2016 boating accident along with two passengers of a boat that occurred when a boat Fernandez was driving crashed into a jetty in the waters off Miami.

Florida’s Unfortunate History of Fatal Boating Accidents

Florida is a peninsula surrounded by water on three sides. The Atlantic Ocean runs the length of the state’s eastern coast, while the Gulf of Mexico runs along the entire West Coast of the state, for a total of over 1300 miles of coastline. In addition, Florida has countless lakes, springs, rivers, and other freshwater bodies of water all over the state. All this water makes the state a boater’s paradise. However, being a boater’s paradise is also not without risk, as Florida is also the most dangerous state in the country for boaters, with more than 25 percent as many deaths as the second most dangerous state, Texas, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission data.

Florida Law Regarding Boating Accidents

Florida law regarding boating is very similar to the laws regulating the operation of motor vehicles in the Sunshine State. For example, like any motorist, Florida law requires the operator of a boat to utilize ordinary care to keep his passengers as well as nearby boaters safe. If a boat’s operator is negligent in the operation of his vessel, then the boat operator can be sued for negligence under Florida law by either his own passengers or other boaters if that negligence results in an accident that injures or kills someone. A boating accident victim is entitled to recover any bills and expenses for medical treatment necessitated by his or her injuries, any lost past or future wages caused by those injuries, as well as past and future pain and suffering caused to the victim by his or her injuries.

Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A.

As this boating accident tragedy demonstrates, boating accidents can have devastating consequences for those involved. This can be a result of the fact that boating accidents typically mix high speeds and sometimes alcohol in a combination that can have deadly consequences. During our more than 200 years of combined practice, the experienced personal injury lawyers of our firm have represented numerous victims of boating accidents in Florida. If you, a family member, or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation today.