Explorer Tunnel Vee Swaps End for End Throwing Man Overboard
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) February 15, 2017 – What started out as a day of fishing, ended with serious, crippling propeller injuries to a 17-year-old’s arms.
This boating accident happened near Corpus Christi. A family of three went out for a day of fishing, using a 23-foot-long Explorer tunnel vee, also referred to as a Texas flatboat. These personal watercraft, are light and responsive, but seem to have one deadly quirk — suddenly spinning end for end with little to no warning. That possible design flaw was mentioned in a study done in 2013, paid for by the U.S. Coast Guard. It alleged that a possible design flaw made the boats whip around 180 degrees without warning. The boat’s manufacturer says the design is not the problem and they have been building boats since 1937.
As the boat began to spin, and with nothing to grab onto, the 17-year-old boy jumped overboard, as far away as possible to try and avoid the whirling propellers. He was unable to get far enough away and they sliced into his arms as he made a frantic attempt to protect himself. The boy’s father hauled him out of the water and they headed for land and medical help.
The 17-year-old was missing most of his right hand and the fingers on his left hand were raw, sliced open and mangled, with muscle and tendons showing. He made it into the waiting ambulance where he was given a strong painkiller and transported to the nearest hospital. His head, face and neck were badly lacerated. The boy was expected to lose both hands as doctors said they would have to amputate them. However, a plastic surgeon managed to save most of his left hand and portions of his right arm.
The main issue in a boating accident case such as this one is that the Coast Guard states that manufacturers are responsible for making safe boats. “This means boat makers supervise themselves. Without regulations in place, owners are left to figure things out on their own and that figuring out may result in a serious or deadly accident,” said Austin boating accident attorney Bobby Lee. “If you have been involved in an accident like this, my door is open to you. You need to know what your legal rights are and how to pursue a personal injury lawsuit if you wish.”
Lee, Gober & Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road #220-S
Austin, Texas 78759
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