A 12-year old boy was killed in a boating accident in Long Island at a popular sailing club earlier this month. The unnamed victim was at the sailing club in Northport Harbor for a lesson. During a “Man Overboard” drill the sailboat was intentionally capsized. Two other boys stayed with the swamped boat but the victim was pulled into a Rigid Inflatable Boat operated by an 18-year-old instructor. At some point the boat accelerated quickly and the victim fell overboard. He became entangled with the propeller of the small craft’s outboard motor.
Rescue crews arrived at the scene of the tragedy within minutes and rushed the boy to nearby Huntington Hospital but the severe wounds inflicted upon him by the propeller couldn’t be repaired. He passed away shortly after arriving at the hospital.
The sailing club is a popular summer destination for New Yorkers. Generations of young folks have come here to vacation, have fun, and learn the art of sailing. This is the first boating accident of this nature ever at the facility and now the policies and procedures are under extreme scrutiny.
No doubt investigators will be looking closely at whether the instructor in charge of the exercise had proper training before being left in charge of these children and whether or not all of the equipment involved was in proper working order at the time.
If deficiencies are discovered, it could open the door to a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the young victim. Regardless, this heartbreaking boating accident in New York City has left an indelible mark on everyone involved.
If you’ve been struck by tragedy on the waterways because of another person’s negligence, recklessness, or disregard for your safety, contact an experienced New York City boat accident lawyer immediately.