A boating accident occurred last week on the New River approximately fifteen miles downstream from the Bluestone Dam near Beckley, West Virginia. According to the Woods and Waters Charleston Gazette Blog, there were five men riding in a fourteen-foot jon boat that capsized. Two of the men were able to swim to safety, two others drowned, and a third man has still not been found. According to news reports, the group was not wearing life jackets, and the boat they were riding in was only rated to carry three people and 350 pounds. Authorities searched for the last victim by dragging the river and using sonar, but his body remains undiscovered.
Boating on fast moving rivers like the New River can be a thoroughly enjoyable experience, but those same swift waters that make for great recreation can also pose a great danger. We here at the Wolfe Law Firm are deeply saddened by the accident that took the lives of three men, and the incident shows just how important it is to exercise safe boating practices when out on any body of water. In this case, the owner of the boat may have been negligent in allowing too many passengers in his watercraft, and each of the men should have been wearing a life vest while out on the river.
Boating accidents are a fairly frequent occurrence on West Virginia’s many waterways, and if you or a loved one was injured in a boating incident, you should contact a professional West Virginia boating accident attorney as soon as possible. Not every accident is compensable under the law, but a lawyer can investigate the causes of your accident to determine if you have a viable legal claim. Whether you were injured or lost a loved one in such an accident, you should not wait to consult an attorney — the longer you wait to get help, the more difficult it will become for you to accumulate the evidence needed to build a successful case to protect your rights and interests.