This has been a bad summer for the boaters, with several injuries and accidents taking place across the country. Just last weekend, the boating accident lawyers at our firm reported on how ex-pro wrestler Hulk Hogan was injured after the windshield on his vessel exploded. A few weeks ago, another athlete was seriously injured in a boat accident as well, but he’s not letting the incident hold him back any longer.
Turlock High senior Tyler Murphy was living the dream just three months ago. Murphy was leading his Bulldog baseball team into the SJS Division I Finals and was getting ready to take his pitching skills to new heights on a scholarship for St. Mary’s College. But just one week before heading out to the college on Aug. 8, the unthinkable occurred. Murphy was badly injured in a boating accident that put the future of his career in jeopardy.
Murphy was enjoying a day out on Lake Tulloch, near his hometown in Turlock, CA, with some friends when the accident occurred. The pitcher was run over by his friend’s boat and the vessel’s propeller cut him on his right leg and hand. With severe lacerations and his scholarship hanging by a thread, Murphy was airlifted to a hospital in Modesto and underwent emergency surgery.
The boating accident victim had to spend 18 days in the hospital recovering and to this date, has already undergone six surgeries with more possibly in store. Though his hand has already been repaired, Murphy has a long way to go before he can return to train, and the question still remains – will he even be able to pitch again?
If Murphy has any say in the matter, the answer is yes.
The young boat accident victim is determined to get better and get his athletic career back on track. He is undergoing rehab and though he has a long way to go, isn’t going to let his injuries hold him back.
According to his loved ones, Murphy is holding onto his dream of playing professional baseball and is working hard at recovering.
Though Murphy is getting better, propeller accidents similar to his happen more often than anyone can imagine. As each boating accident lawyer at our firm knows all too well, accidents involving propellers are usually extremely serious, if not fatal.
Back in July, our attorneys wrote about a five-year-old boy who was killed tragically after being thrown out of the vessel he was riding in and then hit with the boat’s propeller. The boy had been riding on a motorboat in Lake Powell, Utah with his family when a wave hit the vessel and knocked him into the water. The boy was killed instantly after being struck with the propeller.
This terrible accident serves as a reminder of the dangers that face boaters. The boy’s father, who was operating the boat, seemingly had done nothing wrong. He wasn’t speeding, distracted or under the influence of alcohol and everyone on the boat was wearing a life jacket.
It just goes to show that even the most careful of boaters who prepare for the worst and operate their vessels prudently can be involved in a freak accident in the blink of an eye. Though it’s much more common for a boating accident to result from someone’s negligent or wrongful actions, unforeseeable circumstances often contribute to the debilitating or fatal injuries of boaters.
Survivors, like Murphy, commonly suffer deep lacerations as a result of a propeller accident, and other severe injuries including fractures, the loss of a limb or brain trauma. It’s important to always abide by the highest standards of safety while out on a boat or personal water craft such as a Jet Ski because at any given moment, a fun-filled day may turn into a tragic nightmare on the open waters.
Each state has its own set of boating laws that residents should abide by, but unfortunately, not all states impose strict laws regarding BUI (Boating Under the Influence), speeding or distraction, nor do they impose a mandatory life jacket rule that requires everyone, regardless of age, to wear a floatation device. To view the boating laws of your state or to compare and contrast the boating laws among states, visit: https://www.uscgboating.org/state_boating_laws.aspx
Our maritime law firm cannot stress enough the importance of wearing a life jacket, whether there is a mandatory life jacket law or not. Though some accidents can be fatal no matter what an individual does to stay safe at sea, others can be overcome with the help of a life jacket.
For many boaters, an accident can leave them with debilitating injuries or may even leave them unconscious and unable to swim to safety. A life jacket can keep victims afloat until a rescue is possible and can save the victims’ lives.
It is absolutely essential for all boaters to wear floatation devices, whether they are out at sea, sailing along a river or enjoying a day out on a private lake. Boating accidents can – and do – happen in unpredictable ways, but aside from abiding by proper maritime laws, wearing a life jacket is the single most important action a boater can take to protect themselves in the event of an accident.