2 injured, a father and daughter, when gangway collapsed, lawsuit claims

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2021 | Injuries

Recreational boating accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries or deaths. People could be injured badly by the propeller on the boat, drown in deep waters or suffer from hypothermia from the cold.

In a recent lawsuit, one owner of a tour boat company in Charleston is now facing allegations that his boat was not properly secured to the dock. As a result, a man and his two-year-old child were injured, the man’s attorney claims.

How were they hurt by the alleged improper docking of the boat?

According to the man’s lawsuit, he was pushing his child in a stroller on the gangway that was taking them to the Carolina Belle, the boat that was allegedly improperly docked. The boat suddenly pulled away from the dock, which resulted in the gangway collapsing under the man’s feet.

This meant that he and his child were dropped around 20 feet into the harbor below. Fortunately, the boat did not crush or impact the two as they stayed in the water, which was a possibility. Normally, if a boat is at a dock, its movement has the potential to crush anything between itself and that dock as the waves move it back and forth.

The man and his daughter did suffer from injuries caused by the fall, though. They reportedly hit the vessel’s hull and the concrete of the dock on the way down.

The father, who is in his 30s, reported still being injured from the fall. He suffered from several injuries including broken bones.

What is interesting about this lawsuit is that the company has defended itself by claiming that a speeding boat passing by caused the gangway to pull away slightly from the boat. The owner of the tour boat operation stated that the man and his daughter never went into the harbor but did land on the fender (a protective bumper). The owner claims that the two victims only suffered scrapes.

Serious boating injuries don’t have to happen out on the water

Injuries can happen anywhere when you’re boating, from when you’re trying to dock your boat to when you’re using the gangway to get on board. An improperly docked vessel could move and cause an accident, so it’s vital to make sure that all vessels are tethered before attempting to board or disembark.