After a series of California boating accidents, many in the sailing community are concerned about safety surrounding yacht races.
This past weekend, three people were killed in a sailing accident off the coast of San Diego. Two weeks ago, five sailors were killed in the waters off of Northern California.
The first accident occurred after powerful waves sent a San Francisco yacht crashing into a rocky island. This weekend's incident is still under investigation, with the coroner ruling the three deaths as accidents but without identifying a cause. Some speculate that the boat may have collided with another vessel due to the extent of damage.
According to racing standards, the number of boating deaths is alarming. As stated by Gary Jobson, president of the U.S. Sailing Association said he was "horrified" by the latest accident. "We need to take a step back and take a deep breath with what we're doing. Something is going wrong here," he said.
After the San Francisco accident, the Coast Guard placed a temporary suspension on races outside San Francisco Bay. The Guard said the suspension would allow it and the offshore racing community to study to determine whether changes in races are needed to improve safety.
A survivor of the San Francisco crash has raised questions of safety, noting that the five crewmates who died might have been saved had they been wearing safety harnesses that tethered them to the boat.
While boating deaths are rare, boating accidents are much more common and can occur anywhere – whether you are a recreational boater or an experienced racer. The recent rash of accidents serves as an important reminder to make sure you have taken all necessary precautions to ensure your boat is properly equipped with safety equipment and that you understand the actions required of you by law if an accident occurs at sea.
For more information about boating safety or if you or a loved one has been in a boating accident, please contact the top San Francisco boat accident attorneys at Bostwick & Peterson for an immediate consultation.