Catalina Island Boat Accident Kills 3

Just recent, many surviving family members marked the 1-year death anniversary of 3 men who died in a boating accident on June 25, 2016. On that tragic day, a 22-foot boat overturned near Catalina Island with 7 people on board. The 3 men who died on the scene were all of Korean descent. Kyung Hwan Kim, 49, and Young Joon Park, 64, were both LA residents, while Jason Jung Noh, 62, was a resident of Buena Park.

What Happened in the Accident?

Eyewitnesses reported that the boat was coming up on the side of the island that’s exposed to the open ocean. The boat capsized after it got caught in breakers, and was in a spot that had a lot of rocks. A nearby sports fishing boat was able to rescue 2 of the passengers while the Coast Guard helicopter was able to rescue another who was on the rocks.

Later, another person was located on the beach. Three died immediately, while 2 were critically injured.

It’s unfortunate, but according to the California Department of Boating and Waterways these accidents are all too common. In Southern California, there were 282 such boating accidents in 2015, which resulted in 19 deaths and 121 injuries. The deaths in 2015 represented in increase in boating accident fatalities by 56% compared to 2014 statistics.

How to Avoid this type of Accident

Going out in a boat can be fun, especially in the summer. But you need to make sure that you or the persons in charge of the boat are aware of proper safety precautions. Here are some measures that be implemented:

  • The boat should only go as fast as the water conditions safely allow.
  • Alcohol and mind-altering substances should be avoided in boats, especially for the operators.
  • The boat should be properly maintained and in good condition before it goes into the water.
  • There should be enough lifejackets for all passengers.
  • Boats should only carry the number of passengers for which it was rated. The weight capacity of the boat should be posted right near the position of the operator.
  • Always be aware of weather conditions, and never go out into the storm if you can avoid it.
  • If you’re the operator of the boat, you should have taken a boating safety course already. If it has been a while since you took one, it’s always a good idea to take a refresher course.

It’s entirely possible that the operator of the boat was somehow negligent in their duties, and you may be able to receive damages or a settlement that can help pay for your medical expenses, care and lost income. Talk to one of our San Diego Boating Accident Attorneys so that a proper investigation can be started and a suit can be filed if it is mandated by the circumstances.