This summer, a firefighter lost his life during a boat accident involving his family in Connecticut. The firefighter, Keith Morris, was honored along with other Stamford, Connecticut firefighters by New Rochelle City Council members for their response to the incident that took the life of Morris and endangered the life of the other accident victims aboard his boat.
The team of Stamford firefighters, along with other responders, rescued Morris’ brother Drew and three of his friends after their vessel capsized in Stamford Harbor on July 22. Morris was at the helm of a 30-foot Sea Ray and was heading home to New Rochelle with his brother and two other passengers when the boat hit a break wall and capsized around 11:30 p.m. Authorities believe Morris was ejected from the boat upon impact and later drowned.
A witness contacted 911 after seeing the boat capsize. Stamford Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and divers were able to rescue two of the five passengers, who survived because they were trapped in an air pocket under the capsized vessel. The two other passengers had been thrown from the boat and were rescued by emergency crew from Oyster Bay on Long Island. Morris’ body was found the next day in 58 feet of water, according to Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials.
Morris, an eight-year veteran of the New Rochelle Fire Department, was respected among his fellow workers. Those close to him say he had only recently taken up boating when the accident took place. Morris made a wrong turn as he was heading home, which officials believe led to the maritime accident. The harbor opening is marked with red and green lights and Morris made a left turn at the red beacon into the rocks when he should have turned to the right of the green beacon through the open channel.
“It’s like a punch in the gut. I mean everybody knew him. If anybody could come through something like this and survive a brush with disaster it would be Keith,” said Morris’ friend Andy Pavone after the accident.
Unfortunately, these types of maritime accidents occur more often than anyone would like to imagine. Whether the boat operator was inexperienced, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or due to unfavorable weather conditions or equipment failure, boat accidents result in several serious injuries and fatalities each year. Anyone involved in a boat accident, including incidents with motor boats, yachts, jet skis, and other personal water crafts, are encouraged to seek legal help from a maritime personal injury lawyer to protect their rights.
If you or someone you love was hurt or killed in an accident at sea, turn to our firm immediately to file a case. Our boat accident lawyers have been representing victims and their families since 1971. We will help you and your loved ones obtain the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. Contact maritime law firm Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. today to discuss your options and file a boat accident case.