On Thursday November 18, 2010, two Miami-Dade police officers were injured when the boat they were in collided into another boat during a training drill in the waters off Key Biscayne.The reports is not clear whether the second vessel was also a Miami-Dade boat involved in the training or a civilian boat.
Florida leads the nation in boating accidents with 610 of the total 4730 boating accidents reported by the Boating Accident Statistics of the U.S. Coast Guard in 2009. This report indicates that these accidents caused 736 deaths and over 3300 injuries in that year. In Florida, boat accidents caused 53 fatalities in 2009.
Boat accidents result from boat operator inattention and inexperience, excessive speed, improper lookout and alcohol consumption. In 16 percent of the fatalities, alcohol consumption was the cause. Even more shocking is that 86 percent of the boat operators involved in fatal accidents never received any instruction in boat safety.
The injured Miami-Dade police officers may have viable workers compensation claims for the injuries that occurred in the course and scope of their employment. These injured officers may also have third party claims against the owner/operator of the boat with which they collided if that party's negligence caused the accident and resulting injuries.