Southern California is full beautiful beaches and harbors and lots of boating opportunities. Many Orange County residents enjoy taking their boats out, especially in the summer. Just like on the highways where speed limits are enforce for car drivers, there are speed limit regulations for boats. Speeding is dangerous, whether it is a speeding car or a speeding boat. Losing control of your boat or not being able to avoid hitting another boat can cause serious personal injuries. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DAILY PILOT.
Recently, a speeding boat in Newport Harbor hit a smaller boat, capsizing it. The boats were a 25-foot race boat and a 14-foot power boat. The race boat traveling at high speeds reached 30 knots -- six times the harbor's 5 knot speed limit, according to the Daily Pilot. Passengers in the smaller boat were capsized and in the water for five-seven minutes before rescuers arrived. The scene became visible by the lights of a Huntington Beach Police Department helicopter flying overhead.
Four victims were taken to nearby hospitals. Injuries included lacerations, breathing difficulty and a possible fracture. One person was unconscious when rescuers arrived. Newport Beach Fire Department Capt. Glenn White stated, "You can tell by the damage to the slower, smaller boat that the impact was significant." White also commented that it was lucky that no one drowned in the accident.
If going out on a boat this summer, be smart and be safe. Follow the laws and safety procedures for boating. If you are a passenger, be sure the driver is not speeding or drinking. Make sure you know the life-jacket laws. State law requires all children under 13 years of age to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while on board a vessel that is 26 feet or less while moving. For more information, please consult the California Division of Boating and Waterways website. Information provided to the public includes the ABCs of Boating, Boating Laws, Life Jackets, Safety Hints and a lot more.