Two Boaters Killed by Bridge in Orange County

Over the weekend on June 27, 2009, at Hunting Beach in Orange County, early Saturday morning, two men were killed, and one injured, when their inflatable boat crashed into a bridge. According to some witnesses, the three men were making sharp turns, circles, and speeding in the water just before the boating accident. One witness, who lives next to the bridge in questions stated the area is a favorite for boaters to “test the limits.” He said he sees one or more boats speeding every weekend over the summer, despite the speed limit in the harbor is 5 mph, and a “no wake” zone.

The harbor where the accident occurred is comprised of five main bridges for five man-made islands bounded by water channels. The harbor’s bridges are owned and inspected by a public entity known as the California Department of Transportation. Unfortunately, there are no published rules about whether a boat may go under a bridge; you just have to see “if your boat will fit” according to an official with the Harbor Patrol.

The two men were seen drinking before the accident, and evidence of alcohol was present in their boat, but toxicology reports must come back to show if any of the men had a blood alcohol greater than 0.08%. The rules in the water are much different than the motor vehicle rules on land; for example, on land, motorists cannot have an open container of alcohol, but on the water, boating rules do allow the presence of opened alcohol containers. In fact, a driver can be holding an open alcoholic beverage as long as he is not legally intoxicated with more than 0.08% blood alcohol in his or her system.

Be safe, and think and act responsibly while out on the water! Drinking and boating do not mix.
Mark Blane
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Founder of The Law Offices of Mark Blane, APC
It's unfortunate when people who are screwing around end up killing themselves. I know I hate those 5 mph speed limits but it appears that at least this area has them for safety.
by boat rentals in orange county July 12, 2012 at 01:16 PM
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