Kreindler Settles Case Involving Boy Thrown from Whale Watching Ship
- Kreindler partner
Justin Green settled a negligence case involving a 13-year-old Boy Scout thrown from a
whale-watching ship for more than full value.
- Kreindler’s investigation
revealed that the ship’s captain failed to take simple and appropriate
precautionary measures to avoid the accident and reacted in a way that may have
contributed to the boy’s death.
Kreindler Partner Justin Green settled a case involving a 13-year-old Boy Scout thrown from a whale watching ship in the Atlantic Ocean off of Cape May, New Jersey.
The accident occurred when the boy and several of his fellow scouts were standing on the bow pulpit of the ship as the captain navigated at full speed in rough waters toward the whale watching area. Several of the boys had previously jumped with the movement of the bow in the waves but had been instructed to stop and were not ordered off the bow.
The last time anyone saw the young victim, he was stationary and holding tight to the ships rail. Moments later he had been thrown overboard. The Captain did not properly mark the location on the ship’s LORAN and the ship’s crew was not able to rescue him.
The grieving family turned to Kreindler & Kreindler to assist in the inquiry into the accident.
Our investigation revealed that the ship’s captain failed to take simple and appropriate precautionary measures to avoid the accident, and then reacted in a way that may have contributed to the boy’s death.
It was learned that the bow pulpit is usually cordoned off by rope
during trips to and from the whale watching area, but on that day the ship’s
crew had failed to secure the area. The captain had a direct view of the boys
on the bow, but did not order them out of the area until the ship had anchored.
The captain also failed to warn the passengers about the rough seas they would
encounter or the danger of standing on the bow pulpit.
It was also disclosed that the crew had not been given federally mandated “man overboard” training. Further, the captain violated the standard practice of immediately putting the ship’s engines in neutral to stop the propellers when the boy went overboard. Instead, he turned the ship toward where the boy had fallen and put the engine in full reverse. It’s possible this caused the boy to be sucked into the engine and propeller. The boy’s shirt was found wrapped around the propeller.
After building a compelling negligence case against the ship’s owner and operator, the case was settled for more than full value.