The historic Red and White Fleet ferries are San Francisco’s original sightseeing adventure bay cruises. This fleet provides locals and visitors with the opportunity to see San Francisco’s most notable landmarks from the water. Passengers enjoy the views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and other famous sights the City on the Bay has to offer. While most ferry tours run smoothly without incident, sometimes accidents happen wherein passengers are injured.
In 1995, a Red and White Fleet ferry struck a seawall, injuring seventeen passengers. The captain of the ferry was accused of speeding in heavy fog and with failing to immediately report the accident. He with subsequently charged with negligence because the ferry was traveling at 23 knots which was too fast based on the weather conditions. While most of the injured passengers didn’t require hospitalization, several were treated at a San Francisco hospital for chest and rib injuries and for lacerations.
The last thing you expect when you board a ferry is that you will be involved in an accident that could result in you becoming seriously injured. However, ferry boat accidents do occur and people are injured as a result.
Ferry boats can collide with one another, they can crash into obstacles such as pier pilings and docks and then can even capsize and sink as the result of fires, mechanical malfunctions or equipment defects. Accidents that happen on the water, just like accidents that happen on land, can seriously injure innocent people as well as claim lives.
Common Ferry Boat Accident Injuries
Ferry accidents are not quite the same as car accidents. Most ferries carry hundreds of passengers which means it’s very likely that many people will become injured in a ferry accident and especially if the vessel collides with another boat or some type of obstacle. Passengers in these types of accidents can be violently tossed about wherein they fall down or are thrown into walls, etc, resulting in serious injuries. In the worst case scenario a ferry boat can capsize wherein the passengers either are forced to jump into the water or they fall overboard, resulting in devastating injuries and the loss of life.
Among the most common types of injuries sustained in ferry boat accidents include:
- Contusions and lacerations
- Fractured bones
- Head injuries
The potential for mass injuries makes it all the more important that ferry companies and operators exercise extreme caution and care. Ferry operators should be well-trained as should crew members. The boats should be maintained according to safety regulations and laws. All safety measures must be taken to ensure that passengers are free from harm should something unexpected happen.
Causes of Ferry Accidents
Often times, ferry operator negligence is to blame for ferry boat accidents. Sometimes defective equipment is found to be the cause of these accidents as well as malfunctioning equipment. At times, negligence on the part of the ferry company is to blame for injuries passengers sustain in ferry accidents. For instance, a ferry company that fails to fix a known problem with the steering mechanism on a ferry can be held liable for any injuries suffered by passengers in an accident that was caused by the company not fixing the problem.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a Red and White Fleet ferry accident that was caused by the action or inaction of someone else, call our Bay Area personal injury attorneys because we can help. We will take the time to speak with you about your injuries and the accident you were involved in. We will then determine if you have a valid claim. If so, we will let you know what your legal options are so that we can help you decide what the best course of action is for you and your family.