Fishing is a popular pastime for a significant number of Americans. However, a relaxing day on the water with friends or family members can turn into tragedy if a fishing boat malfunctions, resulting in injury and death.

Last weekend, five people went fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. The group left Venice, Louisiana, at approximately 6:30 Saturday morning and entered the Gulf through the South Pass of the Mississippi. When the sport fishing boat was a few miles south of the mouth of the river, one of the vessel’s two engines inexplicably shut down.

While one of the boaters was inspecting why the engine may have shut off, he noticed that water was coming into the boat. The boaters shut down the other engine, and water filled the vessel even more quickly. The boat ultimately capsized before anyone could put a lifejacket on.

Four of the boaters died in the accident. According to a spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the cause of death is believed to be hypothermia. The National Weather Service reports that the water was between 50 and 64 degrees that day.

One of the boaters was rescued that afternoon by an oil crew boat. Apparently, he had been able to hold onto a rope at the bow of the vessel and eventually climbed onto the boat’s hull, where he was seen by an offshore crew boat identified as Sea Angel. He received treatment for mild hypothermia after the rescue.

The U.S. Coastguard is currently investigating the cause of the boating accident. Authorities believe neither alcohol nor drugs contributed to the tragic incident.

It is true that we do not know what caused the boat’s first engine to fail. However, if it turns out that the boat was defective in its design or manufacture, the survivors may be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.

Although this type of boating accident may be rare, there’s no denying the dangers that it encompasses. Contact Rizk Law Portland if you’ve been injured because of an unexplained defect in your motor vehicle. Instead of trying to solve the case yourself, lessen the Rizk!