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Leading Research Laboratory Manager Dies In Thanksgiving Day Boating Accident

November 26, 2012

The family of a research laboratory manager who was killed at sea may be in need of a boating accident attorney following the tragic incident. The victim, Nina Poppelsdorf, 54, of New Mexico, died while on a holiday dive trip in Florida with her nephew. A large wave flipped over the 45-foot catamaran that was carrying her and nearly two-dozen other people, causing Poppelsdorf to drown.

“They just went on this fun trip together to just do dives,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella. “So this is especially tragic that it was on Thanksgiving and it ended in tragedy.”

The Broward County Medical Examiner confirmed Poppelsdorf drowned. She died at a hospital after the vessel, named the Coral Princess, capsized as it was approaching the Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach. Witnesses say a wave nearly 10 feet high flipped the water craft over.

According to one of her colleagues, Poppelsdorf was a senior manager of the radiation protection, industrial hygiene and safety center at Sandia National Laboratories, a federal research and development center. She had been working at the center since 1992 and was recently promoted.

“She was recently promoted to senior manager and was well-respected by her peers and staff alike. Her contributions to improving safety at Sandia are numerous and she will be missed as both a member of the Sandia family and as a wonderful person,” said Sandia Environment, Safety & Health director Sid Gutierrez, Poppelsdorf’s supervisor.

Poppelsdorf was one of the leaders of a Sandia team that offered assistance during the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The natural disasters had left several reactors without cooling water.

Authorities explained that three of the 23 divers onboard the Coral Princess, which is owned by South Florida Diving Headquarters in Pompano Beach, were treated for injuries and released. Most of the divers were on vacation for the holidays and were not locals.

Immediately following the accident, boaters that were nearby jumped into the water to pull the victims to safety. The U.S. Coast Guard and other state and local agencies also assisted in the rescue.

Unfortunately, some boating accidents happen without any warning. The wave could not have been anticipated, but there are other times in which injuries and fatalities at sea are the result of someone’s negligence. If you or someone you love was hurt or killed in an incident involving a catamaran, motor boat or even a jet ski, turn to our attorneys for assistance in filing a claim.

Our boating accident lawyers have been helping victims of maritime tragedies since 1971 and are committed to protecting your rights. You may be eligible for compensation for any injuries or losses you have suffered and our attorneys will work diligently to help you obtain the money damages and medical care you deserve. Let us put our expertise to work for you. Call our firm today to schedule a consultation and discus your viable options.


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