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I had blogged about being careful over the Columbus Day weekend, in view of the fact that our Columbus Day Regatta weekend brings with it a high congestion of boats, and the danger of people operating boats under the influence of alcohol.

Unfortunately, it was reported that a 45-year old man died this weekend in a boating accident near Elliott Key in Biscayne Bay, Florida.

The passenger was on a 60-foot yacht named Gotcha and fell off the back of the boat hitting the propellers. He died in the water.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, responsible for the investigation, reported that the passenger, Juan Carlos Morales, was on the boat with his family and friends for the Columbus Day boat party.

At this time, there’s no report whether alcohol contributed to this fatality.

This death is yet one more fatality that has been reported during the Columbus Day weekend, with two people being reported killed in the year 2006, as well as in 2002 three people lost their lives during the Columbus Day weekend.

I had recently blogged about viewing a news broadcast where a representative of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had appeared issuing warnings to be extremely careful during the Columbus Day weekend. In addition to the high congestion of boats during Columbus Day weekend, we have already seen extremely bad weather over this weekend.

As a result of boating accidents that happen during the Columbus Day weekend, special regulations have been enacted. These regulations state that no more than 5 boats are allowed to be rafted together. In addition, any individual boat must be at least 100-feet apart from another boat. Additional law enforcement officials are patrolling the areas looking out for people speeding or operating a boat under the influence of alcohol. These are the major contributing factors to the boating accidents that are reported during the Columbus Day weekend.

Again, we wish everybody a safe Columbus Day weekend if they are engaged in recreational boating. Remember to wear your life jackets, and of course no one should be operating a motor boat under the influence of alcohol.

Our firm continues to boating safety advocates, representing individuals harmed at sea.


  1. Gravatar for Anonymous

    Juan Carlos Morales was the dad of two guys that go to my schoo... Danny and Alex. He was the uncle of my friend, Jenealle, he was a big part of the sports events that went on in my school, and was a friend to many. I didn't meet him personally, but I know he was a great guy. Those of you who took your time to read this, thank you and please pray for his family and friends who are going through a very tough time. Thank you and God bless you

  2. Gravatar for Anonymous

    Just like this other comment, Juan Carlos Morales was coach of the baseball team. Many loved him and respected him. This really hurt many so PLEASE pray and we will always have him in our hearts <3 R.I.P. Mr.Morales :(

  3. Gravatar for igjbgf mihutdt

    i knew juan for 8 years i am bestfriends with his sons i played baseball basketball with them and he was our coach it broke my heart to hear this happend and have is son angel cry on me r.i.p juan

  4. Gravatar for Angel Posada

    I am sorry for your loss. I was just wondering where he coached I have heard some rumors. I am sure that this has been hard on his players, I know that he will be in heaven looking over his family and extended family of baseball players.

  5. Gravatar for anonymous

    He couched at Palm Springs North. I didn't know him personally but my cousin and her kids did and were really sad to hear what happened. RIP coach!

  6. Gravatar for roxielle

    Juan Morales was an angel sent from above. He was an amazing coach,dad,husband and anything anyone can imagine. He will always be in hearts and this feeling of not having him around is very painful. I was never close to him but I was close to his beloved nephews and attend to their school. My thoughts and prayers go to his family and dear friends. May he rest in peace.

  7. Gravatar for Anonymous

    Yeah he also coacher baseball at Mater Lakes Academy... and Roxy, you sent the message twice

  8. Gravatar for

    My heart goes out to his family, kids and friends.

    I know what it's like to lose someone in a boating accident. My son was killed in the hands of a negligent boater and for years now, I have gone out to Marina's to pass out flyers and tell people to be safe. So does the Burguera family. Stronger boating laws have to be implemented. No one should turn on a boat and start driving without the owner of the boat making sure there passangers are safe. My son was knocked off a boat and ran over with the propellers in his case, his friends never lifted him out of the water. They left him to die, drown. Major laws needs to be again implemented. Strongers fines and i have been trying to do that however, there are so little politicians that care to even listen. God bless you Mr. Morales

    One law implemented was the Osmany Castellanos Boating Safety Act where mandatory boating classes has to be taken for people 24 and under and every year the age goes up by one. Still that's a start but not enough

  9. Gravatar for Gerry McGill

    As a former Coast Guard officer and 30 year maritime attorney I have long believed that all boats should be manufactured and sold with propeller guards installed. Propeller strikes are among the worst possible injuries. A propeller turning at 1500 rpm can cut someone several times from head to toe in 1/10th of a second. There are several types of guards on the after market that work and do not affect the boat's handling. However the boating industry has resisted developing propeller guards because they might add at most $500.00 to the cost of a new boat.

    If you have a boat that you use for diving or water skiing please consider having a propeller guard installed. Condider that the ski platform or dive platform for re-boarding the boat is located on the stern sometimes just inches from the propeller.

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